The US military mission in Iraq will be concluded later this year at a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Juma Inad, the Pentagon confirmed on Saturday.
“The United States will honor the commitments it made during the US-Iraq strategic dialogue in July 2021, including the fact that there will be no US forces with a combat role by the end of the year,” the said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby on Saturday.
That statement came after Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with Iraqi Defense Minister Jumah Inad Sadun al-Jaburi in Manama, Bahrain on November 20 during the annual Manama Dialogue.
Austin also confirmed to the Iraqi Defense Minister that American forces will remain in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government to assist the country’s security forces, the statement said.
The sides also discussed the next phase of the US military mission in Iraq, which will focus on “advising, assisting and sharing information with Iraqi security forces in support of the anti-IS campaign,” the statement said.
The Pentagon chief again condemned the recent attack on the residence of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi and expressed the 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, which takes place annually in Bahrain.