On December 9, Iraqis National Security Advisor Qasim al-Araji announced that the US-led coalition had officially ended its combat missions in Iraq.
“Today, we finished the last round of dialogue with the [US-led] international coalition, which we started last year,” al-Araji said in a statement. “We officially announce the end of coalition forces’ combat missions and their withdrawal from Iraq.”
However, the National Security Advisor went on to stress that Iraqi will continue to cooperate with the US-led coalition in “training, advising and empowerment.”
Around two months ago, Major General Yahya Rasool, a spokesman for the Commander in Chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces, announced that US forces assigned to combat missions had begun withdrawing from the country.
The US has been working with its allies in the Iraqi government to rebrand its military presence in the country as a “training mission” for a while now. Pro-Iranian forces in Iraq, who want a full US withdrawal from the country, are not pleased with this plan.
In November pro-Iranian forces issued a final warning to the US. The forces called on Washington to withdrew all of its troops from Iraq before the end of December 31, promising a heated battle if their demand was not fulfilled.
The demands of a full US military withdrawal from Iraq gained momentum following the assassination of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Deputy-Commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units, and Commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Qassim Soleimani early in 2020.