Today, Saturday, the Iraqi government announced the launch of the first round of bilateral dialogue between Iraq and the United States of America to complete a mission International coalition In Iraq, while American forces continue to be targeted in Iraq and Syria.
The Iraqi government stated in a brief statement today that “Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani sponsored the launch of the first round of bilateral dialogue between Iraq and the United States of America to end the mission of the international coalition in Iraq.”
Iraqi military leaders and international coalition forces participated in the meeting, and the negotiations are led by the Iraqi Army Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah.
Adviser to the Prime Minister for Foreign Relations, Farhad Alaeddin, told Agence France-Presse, “The potential progress will determine the length of these negotiations. What is important here is the return of these talks and setting the agenda for the next stage of bilateral relations.”
He added, “Iraq is participating with other countries in the international coalition to conclude bilateral agreements that serve the interests of Iraq and these countries.”
Last Thursday, Iraq and the United States announced upcoming discussions about the future of the international coalition led by Washington.
Washington confirmed the formation of working groups composed of “military and defense specialists” within the framework of the joint “Supreme Military Committee” with Baghdad.
She said that “three main factors” will be verified, referring in this context to “the threat of ISIS (Islamic State), operational requirements… and the level of capabilities of the Iraqi security forces.”
In Washington, Deputy Defense Department spokeswoman Sabrina Singh told the press that the size of the US military force in Iraq “will certainly be part of the discussions as things progress.”
But a senior US Defense Department official said that the talks “are not negotiations about the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq.”
On the ground, a US Department of Defense official said (Pentagon) to Al Jazeera that the American forces are in Ain al-Assad base In Iraq and the Green Village in Syria, it was subjected to two attacks with two marches, without causing any casualties or damage.
The American military official added that American forces at the Euphrates support site in Syria were subjected to a drone attack that resulted in multiple non-serious injuries and damage to facilities, while the Islamic Resistance in Iraq announced that it had targeted, with drones, the American bases of Koniko and Green Village in Syria.
Since mid-October, more than 150 drone and missile strikes have targeted American and coalition forces in Iraq and Syria, in a direct reflection of the Israeli aggression against Gaza strip.
Despite the announcement of the discussions between Baghdad and Washington, the “Islamic Resistance in Iraq”, a coalition of armed factions, pledged yesterday, Friday, to continue its attacks against the international coalition.
There are about 2,500 American soldiers in Iraq, while about 900 American soldiers are deployed in Syria, within the framework of the international coalition launched by Washington in 2014.