The Future of the Anti-Islamic State Coalition in Iraq

cc DVIDSHUB, modified, - 101017-N-4965F-086 MOSUL, Iraq - Members of the Iraqi 6th Emergency Response Battalion conduct weapons training under the supervision of U.S. Special Operations Forces on Oct. 17. Members of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula (CJSOTF-AP) advise, train, and assist the Iraqi Security Forces during Operation New Dawn. (Photo by U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class James E. Foehl)

Started a decade ago, the future of the US-led military coalition to defeat Islamic State took a sharp turn in January, when both the Iraqi and US governments commenced talks regarding the future of the mission. The talks come on the heels of stated plans in August 2023 to discuss the end of the US-led coalition, ambitiously named “Defeat Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,” or D-ISIS.

Overall, the ongoing process is aimed at gradually decreasing the number of US troops on Iraqi soil. To date, about 2,500 US troops are currently advising and assisting Iraqi military personnel in the fight against Islamic State, which started in 2014. While a timeline has not yet been fixed regarding the withdrawal of troops, Baghdad has made it a priority to reduce foreign troops’ presence in the country.


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