Iraq PM: No US combat troops to stay in Iraq after IS

Abu Yusuf al-Halab a Syrian in his forties was killed in the blast near the town of Tal Afar according to an Iraq-based news agency

The U.S. and Iraq are in talks to keeping American troops in the country after the fight against the Islamic State group is concluded, according to a U.S. official and an official from the Iraqi government. They would continue to be designated as advisers to dodge the need for parliamentary approval for their presence, he said.

ISIL, which stands for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and is also known as ISIS, blamed US-led coalition forces for the air raid, according to a statement carried on its Amaq website.

The Iraqi army said in an official statement on Thursday that its 9th Armored Division and the Rapid Response units of the Interior Ministry have opened a new front in the northwest of the city.

The US official said there is no talk of "creating independent American bases in Iraq", as the move would require thousands more personnel.

The US military did not have any estimates of how many troops could be stationed in Iraq. Iraqi forces now seem to be moving closer to the Old City in apparent anticipation of an operation to clear it.

IRAQI security forces announced the opening of a new front yesterday in their ongoing operation against Isis death cult militants in north-west Mosul.

Such an agreement would underscore how the fight against IS has drawn the USA into a deepening role in Iraq.

Tal Afar remains an important ISIS stronghold and is being targeted by the Iraqi state-backed Hashed al Shaabi militia
Tal Afar remains an important ISIS stronghold and is being targeted by the Iraqi state-backed Hashed al Shaabi militia

In early April, the Afghan ambassador to the U.S. claimed that by the end of Trump's first term, Afghan security forces would be sufficiently prepared to deal with jihadi terror groups in their country without the help of USA troops and advisers. The numbers went down eventually to 40,000 before the complete withdrawal in 2011 under the Obama administration.

Originally, the United States anti-IS campaign, which was launched in 2014 after Mosul fell to the militant group, was primarily focused on providing air support and military expertise. It was Christmas Day, and Iraqi forces, who are Muslim, invited him and his soldiers to a Christian church just outside Mosul to attend services.

"I also believe that what we saw and participated in was a major transformation", he said.

The troops launched a major offensive to recapture Mosul - the last major IS urban stronghold in Iraq - in October.

"Our support to the government of Iraq is going to remain the same type of relationship that we continued with them throughout the [ISIS] campaign", he told reporters during a briefing from Baghdad.

"It is open to all worldwide expertise to meets the aspirations of Iraq to build military institutions and security apparatuses that enjoy full readiness to face any future security challenges, whether external or internal and in accordance with the requirements of Iraqi national sovereignty".

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