The United States is changing the focus of its military mission in Iraq. The US military will no longer fight but will focus on, among other things, training, assisting and aiding the Iraqi army in the fight against the terrorist movement Islamic State (IS).
During a meeting between US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi at the White House in Washington, the decision was announced. It was the first meeting between the leaders. The relationship between the two countries is entering “a new phase,” Biden said.
US troops will focus on supporting Iraqi government forces from the end of this year. But, in practice, not much will change because the Americans are already mainly busy training Iraqis so that they can protect themselves.
The US currently has 2,500 military personnel in Iraq. However, it is not clear whether changes will be made to the size of the force. The Americans withdrew from Iraq in 2011, after arriving there in 2003 to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s regime, but returned in 2014 to fight ISIS.