Pentagon Chief Confirms US to End Combat Mission in Iraq in 2021
19:19 GMT 20.11.2021 (Updated: 12:44 GMT 13.04.2023)
© US Air Force/Senior Airman Matthew BruchA U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle flies over northern Iraq early in the morning of Sept. 23, 2014, after conducting airstrikes in Syria. This F-15 was a part of a large coalition strike package that was the first to strike ISIL targets in Syria
© US Air Force/Senior Airman Matthew Bruch
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed that the US military mission in Iraq will be completed before the end of this year during a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Juma Inad, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Saturday.
"The United States will uphold the commitments it made during the July 2021 U.S.-Iraq Strategic Dialogue, including that there will be no U.S. forces with a combat role by the end of the year," the official statement said.
Austin further confirmed to the Iraqi defense minister that American forces will remain in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government to support the country's security forces, according to the statement.
The sides also discussed the next stage of the US military mission in Iraq, which will focus on "advising, assisting, and sharing intelligence with the Iraqi Security Forces in support of the campaign to defeat [Daesh*]," the statement read.
The Pentagon chief once again condemned the recent attack on the residence of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi and expressed hope that the formation of the new government in Iraq will proceed peacefully.
The meeting took place on the sidelines of the Manama Dialogue international conference on regional security held annually in Bahrain.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia and many other states