According to a White House source, the two leaders reached an agreement to end the combat mission of the US military in Iraq by the end of this year.
And the Associated Press quoted a high-ranking official in the US administration, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying: A broader statement will be issued by President Biden and Prime Minister Al-Kazemi. The agency added: The statement will clarify the plan to transform the US military mission – whose stated goal is to help Iraq defeat ISIS – into an advisory and training role by the end of this year.
The US official said that the Iraqi security forces “passed the test of the battle” and proved that they are “capable” of protecting their country, but he pointed out that the Biden administration realized that the “ISIS” organization still represents a major threat. The agency indicated that for Al-Kazemi, the ability to present the Iraqis with a date for the end of the US combat presence in the country may be a “feather in his hat” (victory) before the elections.
For his part, an Iraqi source revealed, yesterday, Monday, some details of the meeting, indicating that the combat forces will withdraw only. The source told “Russia Today”, one of the members of the negotiating delegation in Washington, that “Al-Kazemi and Biden agreed to announce the exit of only US combat forces from Iraq before the end of this year,” explaining that “air support will remain, and capacity building as well, in addition to consulting and maintaining F16 aircraft. With regard to the international coalition, the Iraqi source indicated that “the withdrawal does not include the international coalition forces. There is an agreement to discuss the “Resolution and Solidarity” process and assess the danger of ISIS on the country, and then decide that.”
Al-Kazemi’s visit to Washington comes at a time when US forces in Iraq are under repeated attacks by militias loyal to Tehran. Washington is carrying out strikes in response to these attacks, the last of which was on June 29, when it bombed the sites of Iranian-backed Iraqi factions at the Syrian-Iraqi border. Iraq forms an important part of the strategic framework of the United States, which is leading the operations of the international coalition to combat terrorists in neighboring Syria. It is out of the question for Washington to abandon the country, in the midst of the high level of tension between Iran and the United States, even if they still intend to save the international agreement on the Iranian nuclear agreement concluded in 2015.