ERBIL — The United States will begin withdrawing its combat forces from Iraq by the beginning of October this year, and Iraqi parliament member said.
US President Joe Biden had announce in July, after a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, the end of the US combat mission in Iraq.
MP Badr Ziadi, a member of the Iraqi parliamentary committee for defense and security affairs, told Al-Arabiya Al-Jadeed that the withdrawal will begin early in October and will be concluded by 31 December.
“On 1 January 2022, there will be no US combat forces on Iraq’s soil,” he pointed out.
According to the MP, the US forces will move their weapons and military equipment to other bases in the Gulf countries, but the US air force would continue the operations against the Islamic State (IS) at the request of the Iraqi government.
The decision on US combat troops’ withdrawal came after a rapid increase in attacks on the US forces across Iraq. The attacks are often blamed on the Iran-backed Shia militias who have formed a so-called “Resistance Front” to oust the US forces.
Biden said in July that the United States will continue helping Iraq in its war against terrorism even after the withdrawal, but this time solely through advising.
Many in Iraq fear the resurgence of the Islamic State (IS) after the US combat mission’s withdrawal. The government in Baghdad, however, has promised to keep the pressure on the terrorist groups while operating on the ground solely.
Since the announcement of the withdrawal decision, the Shia militias have almost suspended attacks on the US forces, except for a base used by the US and the Coalition forces in Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan Region.
On 12 September, two explosive-laden drones targeted the Coalition base inside Erbil International Airport. No casualties or serious property damage were reported, but the attack received condemnation from key international actors in the region, including the US, UK, and France.