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US President Meets Iran’s Prime Minister

Since March 2003, the United States has led an invasion of Iraq after the countries claimed that the Saddam Hussein regime has weapon of mass destruction. On May1 2003, the then President of US George W Bush announced the end of major combat operation but the war against terrorism will continue. According to the US reporting, on October 2 no weapon of mass destruction was found. After 9 months of running, on December 13, Saddam is captured and hanged three years later.

In 2007 January, President Bush deployed additional 30,000 troops, bringing the total to 165,000. According to the then reports, this was done to help the interim government to stabilize and normalize the situation.

In 2009 February, President Barack Obama who opposed the above made the decision to withdraw the troops by 2011.  According to the Iraq Body Count database more than 100,000 civilians were killed while US lost 4,500 troops between 2003 and 2011 when the last American solider left Iraq.

In January, 2014, Islamic States (IS) group seized Fallujah, Mosul and got hold of one third of Iraq. With the help of US-led coalition, Iraqi forces drove IS out of their country. In December 2017, Iraq declared victory against IS.

On 3rd January 2020, there were a series of air strikes between Iran and US. The Iraqi authorities then demanded the end of presence of foreign troops in Iraq. On 6th May, 2020 Intelligence Chief Mustafa al-Kadhimi replaces Adel Abdel Mahdi to form the Government.   

US President Joe Biden met Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi at the White House on Monday, 28th July 2021. The talks between the two came after the deadly attack about a week ago by the Islamic State group.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister Kadhimi wished the full withdrawal of the troops that are presently in Iraq. Prime Minister has been under a lot of pressure from pro-Tehran armed fraction who have demanded the withdrawal of 2,500 US troops that are still deployed in Iraq. The Troops which have remained in the country are official advisor and trainers for Iraq’s army and counter terrorism units.

During the meeting, President Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq yet they will continue to be committed to the security and cooperation for the country. As these two countries will enter to a new phase of their relationship, US have committed to strengthen electric power supplies, fight Covid-19, climate change and also support sector development. Biden also expressed their support for the elections which are to be held in October, emphasizing that Baghdad, Gulf Cooperation Council and the United Nations are working closely to make sure that elections are conducted fairly. 

Over the years, there has been a stronger partnership between the two countries. The US troops have been helping the Iraqi security forces to fight the Islamic States (IS) group yet how the removal of the troops will affect the country or the upcoming elections is something that will be seen only with time. But the provision of 500,000 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine under the Global Vaccine Programme does reflect US commitment to strengthen their bilateral relationship with Iraq.