Iraqi PM discusses with U.S. Secretary of State over U.S. presence in Iraq

Iraqi PM discusses with U.S. Secretary of State over U.S. presence in Iraq

BAGHDAD, March 6 (Rahnuma): Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has held a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over legal status of U.S.-led coalition forces stationed in Iraq, Abdul Mahdi’s office said Wednesday.

Adel Abdul Mahdi received a phone call from Pompeo, and they confirmed “the legal framework for the work of the international coalition forces, including the U.S. forces operating in Iraq,” the office said in a statement.

The two sides confirmed that the mission of those troops is to combat Daesh (IS group) and training of Iraqi forces, and not to establish foreign (military) bases on Iraq’s soil, the statement said, adding that all the coalition missions are in accordance with approval from Iraqi authorities.

The two officials discussed the latest developments in the fight against IS group near the borderline with neighboring Syria, as well as the impacts of the fight on Iraq, the statement said.

They also discussed economic issues and means to support Iraq’s military capabilities and independence, it added.

Over 5,000 U.S. troops have been deployed in Iraq to support the Iraqi forces during the battles against IS militants.

The troops were part of the U.S.-led international coalition that has also been conducting air raids against IS targets in both Iraq and Syria.

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