Iraqi National Security Adviser Falah al-Fayadh today announced that NATO has informed them that they will be ending their training mission at the end of the month and will withdraw all troops at that time.
“NATO surprised us with this decision,” said Fayadh, who said they were informed of the decision on Thursday. NATO had claimed they were “open” to extending the training mission into the years to come.
The move appears to have come exactly as the end of the US occupation did, as a result of the current Iraqi government’s refusal to grant blanket immunity to foreign troops for crimes committed on Iraqi soil.
Officials argued that there was no need for immunity in either case since the training missions are restricted to activities on Iraqi military bases, but in both cases Western officials seemed determined to keep full immunity.