US President Joe Biden said on Monday that the United States would cease its “combat mission” in Iraq by the end of the year, to begin a “new phase” of military cooperation with the country.
“We will not be at the end of the year in a combat mission” in Iraq but “our cooperation against terrorism will continue even in this new phase, which we are discussing,” said Biden, alongside Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, whom he received Monday at the White House.
Biden, however, did not make any concrete announcement on the troops deployed in Iraq.
In remarks, Biden mentioned that his late son Beau was stationed in Iraq for a year with the Army National Guard.
The US president said that COVID-19 vaccines sent to Iraq will “be there quickly.”
He also said that “we’re anxious to make sure the election goes forward in October,” in reference to early parliamentary elections scheduled for October 10. The elections decide the 328 members of the Council of Representatives.
“I’d like to thank the American people on behalf of all Iraq’s people,” Al-Kadhimi said, adding that he looked forward to working with the Biden administration.