New York Times: US Resumes Joint Military Operations with Iraq
The United States resumed joint military operations with Iraq yesterday, interrupted after the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in an U.S. airstrike in Baghdad in early January, according to the New York Times.
Two US military officials, who demanded anonymity, told the newspaper that the Pentagon wanted to resume, along with the Iraqi military, the fight against the Islamic State jihadist group as soon as possible so that it could not take advantage of the situation.
The joint operations on both sides were interrupted at the initiative of Washington on January 5, two days after the killing of Soleimani near Baghdad airport, the agency recalls. The same day, the Iraqi Parliament passed a resolution asking the government to end the presence of all foreign troops in Iraq.
Late last week, the Iraqi government formally asked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to send a delegation to discuss the withdrawal of US troops. The State Department said it did not intend to discuss the issue, but only the best way to confirm the "strategic partnership" between the two countries.
Pompeo assured Monday that all Iraqi leaders had told him in private conversations that they agree the United States to continuie its military presence in their country to fight the Islamic State.
"They won't say so publicly. But privately they all welcome the fact that America is still there executing its counter terror campaign," Pompeo said in response to a question at a forum at Stanford University.
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