The United States is set to complete its combat mission in Iraq by December 31, but will retain its support for local security forces and Kurdish paramilitary groups, the two states said in a joint statement, issued after a strategic stability meeting.
The meeting was co-chaired by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein.
"The two delegations also emphasized that the bases hosting U.S. and other Coalition personnel are Iraqi bases and are operating per existing Iraqi laws; they are not U.S. or Coalition bases, and the presence of international personnel in Iraq is solely in support of the Government of Iraq’s fight against ISIS [the Islamic State terrorist group, outlawed in Russia]," the statement says, TASS reports.
"The delegations decided, following recent technical talks, that the security relationship will fully transition to a training, advising, assisting, and intelligence-sharing role, and that there will be no U.S. forces with a combat role in Iraq by December 31, 2021," it says.
The United States intends to continue its support for the Iraqi security forces, including Kurdish Peshmerga groups, "to build their capacity to deal with future threats."