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Iraq, US agree to lower international coalition's command representation level
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 17 - 09 - 2021

Iraq and the US agreed to lower level of command representation of the international coalition in Iraq by end of this month, Iraq's security media department announced Friday.
Two Iraqi and American military technical committees met Thursday as part of the strategic dialogue between the two sides and agreed to slash a number of US combat units and capabilities in military bases in Ein Al-Asad and Irbil by end of September, the department added in a statement.
The new command level would be headed by a Major-General instead of a General, and the new commander would be responsible for management, support and supply as well as exchange of intelligence for Iraqi side, it said.
The technical committees also agreed to hold regular meetings to complete transition of the international coalition's non-combat missions by end of this year.
The statement said both parties underlined that deployment of US and international forces was at the request of the Iraqi government with the objective of providing protection in line with international law.
The US and Iraq armies agreed in July to end mission of American combat forces and keep special troops for training.
The relation between Baghdad and Washington strained after January 3, 2020, when an American drone struck a convoy at Baghdad airport, which killed Qasem Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of Iraq's paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces.
The Iraqi parliament passed a resolution on January 5, 2020, requiring the government to end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq.
The US airstrike also pushed unidentified militias to launch a series of rocket and mortar attacks on Iraqi military bases housing US troops across Iraq, as well as the American embassy in the Green Zone in central Baghdad.
The US-led coalition forces have been deployed in Iraq to support the Iraqi forces in the battles against IS militants, mainly providing training and advising to the Iraqi forces. — Agencies


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