US operation against Islamic State terror group in Iraq not over yet, Blinken says

Washington : US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has assured Iraqi President Barham Salih that the operation against the Islamic State terrorist group is not over, but is just entering a new phase, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.

Blinken spoke with Salih on Saturday. Price said in a statement after the talks that the US was committed to a stable Iraq and that Washington had taken note of Iraq’s efforts to hold fair elections on October 10.

There are currently 2,500 US troops in Iraq assisting local forces to counter what remains of the Islamic State terrorist group.

Biden said in July that the US combat mission in Iraq would come to a close by the end of this year. After December 31, 2021 the United States is expected to switch to training and assisting Iraqi forces to counter Islamic State terrorists.