PM says no need for foreign combat forces on Iraqi soil
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said his country no longer requires foreign combat troops on its land, as the U.S. and Iraq are in discussion for a timetable for troop withdrawal in Iraq.

“There is no need for any foreign combat forces on Iraqi soil,” Kadhimi said in an interview with AP ahead of a planned trip to Washington.
Kadhimi left Baghdad for Washington on Sunday for the fourth round of strategic dialogue between the U.S. and Iraq.
Iraq and the United States began their strategic dialogue in June 2020 under former U.S. President Donald Trump administration.
In the third round of talks in April, the United States agreed to remove remaining combat forces deployed to fight ISIS militants in Iraq.
There are currently 2,500 U.S. troops in Iraq focusing on countering the remnants of Islamic State (ISIS).
The Iraqi prime minister said the security forces and army were capable of defending the country without U.S.-led coalition troops.
However, he said any withdrawal schedule would be based on the needs of Iraqi forces, who have shown themselves capable in the last year of conducting independent anti-ISIS missions.
“The war against ISIS and the readiness of our forces requires a special timetable, and this depends on the negotiations that we will conduct in Washington,” he added.
“What we want from the U.S. presence in Iraq is to support our forces in training and developing their efficiency and capabilities and in security cooperation,” he told AP.
A senior U.S. defense official said on Thursday that the U.S. and Iraq were expected to formalize the end of Washington’s combat mission in Iraq by the end of the year and continue the transition toward training and advising Iraqi forces, according to Reuters.
The official said there would be a focus on logistics, maintenance of equipment and helping Iraqi forces further develop their intelligence and surveillance capabilities.
“Iraq has a set of American weapons that need maintenance and training. We will ask the American side to continue to support our forces and develop our capabilities,” Kadhimi said.
Regarding the elections in Iraq, Kadhimi said the country was in a “sensitive situation” and that they needed to “calm the political situation until we reach the elections”.
As Iraq is scheduled to hold elections on October 10, the Sadrist Movement and Iraqi Communist Party have boycotted the early parliamentary elections.
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