Yesterday, Pentagon officials were talking up ongoing negotiations on keeping permanent US troops in Iraq after the ISIS war, which they claimed everybody in the Iraqi government was in favor of. They conceded that the specifics had yet to be worked out and no deal was reached yet.
Their claim of Iraqi support may have been a bit exaggerated, as it was followed up today by comments, by Prime Minister Hayder Abadi ruling out the presence of any US combat troops in Iraq after the ISIS war, insisting that only a small number of trainers would be allowed to remain.
On the other hand, it’s not clear how serious Abadi’s comments are meant to be taken, as he also claimed in the same statement that there are “no foreign combat troops” in Iraq might now, so he might just be hand-waving away the long-term deployments.
Indeed, other Iraqi officials insisted that the law requires combat troops to be approved by parliament, which is why they’ve long avoided admitting that the US troops are combat troops, and that this designation would remain after the war.
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