Iraq PM: No US combat troops to stay in Iraq after IS

Posted May 06, 2017

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi's Friday declaration that US combat troops will not remain in the country after the Islamic State is defeated could spark a future showdown with the Trump administration.

"The Iraqi government has plans and strategies to develop the capabilities of our security forces through training and arming to raise their readiness to face the challenges ahead", said the statement.

USA forces in Iraq would be stationed inside existing Iraqi bases in at least five locations in the Mosul area and along Iraq's border with Syria, the Iraqi government official said.

It said Iraqi forces had already captured a small outlying village called Hsunah and a nearby gas factory in the renewed push.

Mosul - Iraqi forces opened on Thursday a new front as part of their battle to liberate the city of Mosul from ISIS militants, who tightened their grip on civilians now trapped in the areas controlled by the organization.

The officials emphasize the discussions are ongoing.

A few days after the 82nd's deployment, the Trump administration announced that it would cease disclosing information about the scope and nature of future us troop deployments in both Iraq and Syria, citing operational security and "tactical surprise". In March 2016, the month before the task force arrived in Iraq, the authority was granted not only to the general in charge of the operation, but also for colonels, lieutenant colonels, and in at least one case, a captain near the front of the fighting, he explained.

In early April, the Afghan ambassador to the United States claimed that by the end of Trump's first term, Afghan security forces would be sufficiently prepared to deal with jihadi terror groups in their country without the help of USA troops and advisers. That number dropped to 40,000 before complete troop withdrawal in 2011.

A cross consecrated in the ISIS-devastated town
A cross consecrated in the ISIS-devastated town

Rasool said Iraqi forces rescued 1,000 families on Thursday.

During a visit to Iraq in February, Mattis and Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the top US commander in Iraq, described an enduring partnership between the USA and Iraq.

Abadi moderated his comments saying that the only USA troops who should remain would provide training assistance to the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) to maintain "full readiness" in case of "future security challenges".

The troops launched a major offensive to recapture Mosul, the last major IS stronghold in Iraq, in October. He added, "I think that the government of Iraq realizes their very complex fight, and they're going to need the assistance of the coalition even beyond Mosul".

Al-Abadi has long struggled to balance Iraq's dependence on both the US and Iran.

There, al-Baghdadi designated the terror group's caliphate after they took over nearly a third of Iraq.

Last October, the Iraqi army - backed by a US -led air coalition - began a wide-ranging operation to retake Mosul from ISIL, which the terrorist group overran in mid-2014.

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