Published: Mon, May 08, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Iraq PM: No US combat troops to stay in Iraq after IS

That's partially due to mission creep: As Business Insider's Paul Szoldra points out, both USA troop and contractor levels have been steadily rising over the last few years. Trump reaffirmed this position in a March meeting with Abadi telling him "certainly, we shouldn't have left".

In his statement, Haider al-Abadi emphasized that there are no foreign combat troops on Iraqi soil and that any American troops who stay on once Islamic State militants are defeated will be advisers working to train Iraq's security forces to maintain "full readiness" for any "future security challenges". The numbers were wound down to 40,000 before the main withdrawal in 2011.

In October, the Iraqi army - backed by US -led coalition airstrikes and local allies on the ground - began a wide-ranging operation to retake Mosul, Daesh's last bastion in northern Iraq, which the militant group overran in 2014.

Raed Chaker, chief of the militarized federal police, on May 6 said his forces had pushed into the IS-controlled district of Al-Haramat in northwestern Mosul, taking about 500 meters of territory from the extremists since a new offensive began on May 3.

He said that two military vehicles were also destroyed in the attacks.

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Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, a spokesman for the joint operations command, told Reuters the militants "didn't have time to make barriers, the advance since yesterday has been good".

Then they took down the pontoons, the army initially planned to transport people across the river using steamboats, but now say they have run out of fuel. After all, the last time US troops pulled out of Iraq, they were back just three years later.

Mothers carrying babies, men in wheelchairs, and families of up to 15 people have been paying 1,000 Iraqi dinars ($0.86) per head to make the short journey, with many needing to make two or three trips.

The Iraqi military said on Saturday that Musherfa had been fully retaken, but officers said on Sunday that there was still fighting in the district.

Information for this article was contributed by Bradley Klapper of The Associated Press.

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