Iraqi Leader Reiterates call for Departure of US-led Coalition

Iraq Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani has reiterated his call for the departure of the US-led international anti-jihadist coalition from his country over the regional tensions related to Gaza war
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-SudaniTwitter

“The end of the international coalition mission is a necessity for the security and stability of Iraq,” he stated during a televised event at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“It is also a necessity for preserving constructive bilateral relations between Iraq and the coalition countries.”

Sudani, whose government relies on the support of Iran-aligned parties, has consistently expressed his desire to see foreign troops leave Iraq in recent weeks.

His comments followed US strikes on pro-Iran groups in response to attacks on American and other coalition forces deployed in Iraq since 2014 in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group, occurring since mid-October.

According to the Pentagon, at least 130 attacks, including 53 in Iraq and 77 in Syria, were recorded between October 17 and January 11.

Most drone or rocket attacks targeting foreign troops have been claimed by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a loose alliance of Iran-linked armed groups opposing US support for Israel in the Gaza war.

A US drone strike in early January killed a military commander and another member of Harakat al-Nujaba, a faction of Hashed al-Shaabi, a collection of mainly pro-Iranian former paramilitary units now integrated into the Iraqi armed forces.

In his Thursday remarks, Sudani emphasized the need to “immediately begin a dialogue, to reach an understanding and a timetable regarding the end of the mission of international advisers.”

The United States has approximately 2,500 soldiers in Iraq and nearly 900 in Syria, supporting the anti-IS coalition.

Since the end of 2021, the coalition in Iraq announced it halted all combat missions and is now stationed on Iraqi military bases purely in an advisory and training capacity.

Sudani asserted that the coalition is no longer needed.

“Today, according to the analysis of all specialists in Iraq and among our friends, ISIS does not represent a threat to the Iraqi state,” he said, using another acronym for IS.

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