Pentagon: Iraq will Decide the Fate of Our Military Presence

US Defense Department spokesman John Kirby announced that an Iraqi delegation is visiting the Pentagon to discuss strategic issues between the two countries, including the issue of US military presence in Iraq.

  • US military parade in Iraq (archive).
    US military parade in Iraq (archive).

US Defense Department spokesman John Kirby announced that an Iraqi delegation is visiting the Pentagon to discuss strategic issues between the two countries, including the issue of US military presence in Iraq.

Kirby said that the Pentagon is hosting an Iraqi delegation "as part of the ongoing strategic dialogue between the two states" and that "the US military presence in Iraq is under discussion with our Iraqi partners."

He added: Our mission will not permanently focus on "ISIS" and we are in close consultations with Iraqi officials. We hope that we can rid ourselves and the region of the threat posed by it.

The Pentagon spokesman considered that the fate of US military presence in Iraq is a matter that will be concluded with Iraq, adding that "We will continue to talk with the Iraqis about our direct military presence in Iraq to serve the interests of the United States." 

The United States reduced its military presence in Iraq last year by half, equivalent to 2,500 soldiers. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman also announced last April that the presence of US forces had become limited to guidance and training.

Talks about the US presence in Iraq come amid an American drive to reduce military deployments in the Middle East that accelerated the withdrawal process of US forces from Afghanistan.