By Pratyaksha Mitra on July 27, 2021
Washington: – US President Joe Biden has announced the end of the 18-year-old US military operation in Iraq. Biden said in a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi that the operation would end by the end of next year. Leaders in Iraq and pro-Iranian groups have called on the United States to withdraw its troops from Iraq. The Iraqi government has also supported the demand. Against that background, President Biden made the announcement. But former US military officials and analysts say that it will not significantly impact the situation in Iraq. Advertisement
Religious and political leaders and armed groups in Iraq have urged the United States to withdraw from Iraq, as it has done in Afghanistan. The group has been pushing for Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Qadimi to resign. Prime Minister Kadhimi is considered a supporter of the US military. But amid the growing tensions in Iraq, on Monday, Kadhimi travelled to the United States to meet with President Biden.
After talks with the Iraqi prime minister, the US president announced the end of the military campaign in Iraq. But President Biden said the campaign against terrorism in Iraq would continue. The US president said the United States would not back down from his role in training, assisting and cooperating with the Iraqi military in counter-terrorism operations. At the same time, Biden said that if the IS threat is increased, the United States will continue to play a role in countering the threat posed by IS.
President Biden declined to comment on whether US troops would be deployed in Iraq even after the end of the military campaign at the end of December and what will be the numbers. There are currently 2,500 US combat troops in Iraq and mercenaries affiliated with the US military, stationed at military and air bases in Iraq. Therefore, it is claimed that there will be no difference in the US military presence in Iraq even after December.
Former US military officials and analysts have expressed satisfaction with Biden‘s decision. US analysts say Biden’s decision to end the military operation without military withdrawal was a symbolic one. Former military officials who fought in the war on terror more than a decade ago said that the decision would not significantly impact the situation in Iraq.