US Coalition Partners Are Withdrawing From Iraq Over Security Concerns

Allies want troops elsewhere, at least temporarily

Last week’s US attack in Iraq that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani has made Iraq a much more dangerous place. Concern over retaliation has many of the anti-ISIS coalition partners of the US deciding on withdrawals from Iraq for safety reasons.

Canada emphasized that this is potentially just “a temporary measure,” though with operations on pause, and the Iraqi parliament voting to expel all foreign troops from the country, there is a good chance they’re never coming back.

It was clear that the US attack was going to provoke Iranian retaliation, and Iran did retaliate on Tuesday night. The other nations had tried to distance themselves from the US action, and now physically are mostly going to Kuwait to be out of the line of fire.

The anti-ISIS coalition nations weren’t doing much in Iraq at this point anyhow. Beyond some very low-level training operations, ISIS has little presence in Iraq, and so the troops are mostly just there to show solidarity to US operations. With the US making them potential targets, they’re less eager to do that.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of