Battle for Tikrit: U.S. joins forces with Iraqi army to fight ISIS
US and Iraqi military resumed fighting IS in Iraq
Soon, according to sources, the Americans must resume training for the Iraqi military
The US military has resumed an operation against militants of the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” in Iraq and is working to quickly resume training for Iraqi soldiers. This was announced on Wednesday by representatives of the US administration..
One of the interlocutors said that joint operations of the American and Iraqi military had already begun, but so far not to the same extent as before. The source added that work on training the Iraqi military has not yet begun, but this is a matter for the near future..
Relations with Iraq soured after the United States launched an attack on Baghdad International Airport on January 3, which killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. After that, the Iraqi parliament voted to withdraw US troops from the country, and Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi asked Washington to develop a plan for the withdrawal of troops. The USA categorically rejected this demand. More than 5 thousand American servicemen are currently serving in Iraq..
Sources said the resumption of the Iraqi operation on condition of anonymity, citing the fact that this decision has not yet been officially announced..
One administration official said that the Pentagon leadership discussed the resumption of the operation with the Iraqis, but it is not known who exactly participated in these negotiations. In addition, there is no information about whether this idea was supported in official Baghdad..
Iraqi leaders have expressed dissatisfaction with the American attack on the Baghdad airport, as well as the Iranian retaliation. Last week, Tehran launched a missile attack on al-Assad Air Force base and another military base in Iraq. No one was hurt as a result of these attacks.
The Iraqi authorities called the attack that killed Soleimani “an unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty.” Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the People’s Mobilization Forces, a pro-Iranian paramilitary group, was also killed. Thousands of people took part in protests in Baghdad and southern Iraq, calling for the US and Iran to leave Iraq alone.
US administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have rejected the idea of a withdrawal from Iraq. According to them, the presence of the US military plays a key role in the fight against the “Islamic State”.
“We are delighted to continue talking with the Iraqis about what this structure should look like,” Pompeo said last week at the White House..
Administration sources said they said Iraq is also interested in resuming military training, which has been ongoing since 2015, after the Islamists began seizing territories in Iraq and Syria. Many details, including strengthening security measures for US and coalition forces, are still under discussion..
The New York Times was the first to report on the resumption of the joint military operation in Iraq..
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