| 24 June 2021, Thursday |

US-led coalition in Iraq shifts mission on Daesh

The US-led coalition against Daesh terror group said Sunday its mission in Iraq has shifted from direct combat to providing support to the Iraqi army.

“The International Coalition confirmed that its mission in Iraq to defeat Daesh has shifted from direct combat to additional support for Iraqi forces, including advice and training,” coalition’s military spokesman, Col. Wayne Marotto, said in statements cited by the official Iraqi news agency.

The spokesman said the Iraqi army is leading the battles against the Daesh terror group, adding that the US-led coalition will provide the Iraqi security forces with “intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, logistics, advice” among other operational and strategic level support.

Marotto added that the US-led coalition will also provide air support to the Iraqi forces “when requested.”

The spokesman said the coalition’s presence in Iraq is at an “official invitation from the Iraqi government to eliminate terrorists and its remnants in specific parts of Iraq and Syria”.

Over the past months, military bases housing US forces in Iraq have been targeted with missile attacks and Washington has often accused armed factions loyal to Iran of being responsible.

The latest attack on US interests in the country was on Monday when a missile targeted the Ain Al-Asad Air Base in Anbar province. No casualties were reported.

Currently, there are around 3,000 troops, including 2,500 US forces, fighting in the anti-Daesh coalition.

Iraqi political groups have called for the withdrawal of the US troops from the country under a parliamentary decision issued on January 5, 2020.

On April 7, Baghdad announced the formation of a technical committee to assume the task of approving the timing and mechanisms related to the US troop withdrawal, while no announcement was made from the American side about naming a committee for this purpose