The United States and Iraq have officially announced the commencement of talks aimed at determining the future of the US-led military coalition in Iraq.
Although US combat forces departed in 2011, a subsequent return of thousands of troops in 2014 was prompted by the need to assist the Iraqi government in combating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).
In a statement released on Thursday, Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs outlined the objectives of the talks. Baghdad aims to formulate a “specific and clear timetable” for the duration of the international coalition’s advisory presence in Iraq.
The statement also emphasized Iraq’s commitment to ensuring the safety of the coalition’s advisors during the negotiation period and maintaining stability to prevent escalation.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, in response, issued a statement highlighting that these discussions are part of a broader military commission established in August 2023.