The United States will end its combat mission in Iraq by the end of the year, but troops will continue to train and advise the Iraqi military, U.S. President Joe Biden announced on July 26.
“Our role in Iraq will be dealing with being available to continue to train, to assist, to help and deal with ISIS as it arrives. But we’re not going to be, by the end of the year, in a combat mission,” Biden told reporters after meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi at the White House.
Biden did not specify how many of the current 2,500 U.S. troops in Iraq would remain on the ground for advising and training.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a press briefing that “the numbers will be driven by what is needed for the mission over time.”
Biden’s announcement marks the end of another war that began under former President George W. Bush — the other being in Afghanistan where the last U.S. forces are set to withdraw by the end of August.
U.S.-led forces invaded Iraq in March 2003 to overthrow President Saddam Hussein and to eliminate his government’s weapons of mass destruction, which were never found.
In recent years, U.S. combat forces in Iraq have been focused on helping defeat ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria.
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