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

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Re-taking the mosque in Iraq's second largest city-the militant group's last remaining urban stronghold in the country-would be a huge propaganda victory for the Iraqi Army and its USA backers.

The plan was simple.

A U.S. official and an official from the Iraqi government said talks about keeping USA troops in Iraq were ongoing.

Trump was critical of the 2011 USA troop withdrawal during his campaign, largely blaming Obama for the rise of Islamic State.

USA military officials said they are more confident they can reach a SOFA agreement this time, but any potential deal is still riddled with uncertainties. I go through that process every time.

USA -backed Iraqi forces are battling to free Mosul from IS fighters, their last stronghold in Iraq. Join us in a conversation about world events, the newsgathering process or whatever aspect of the news universe you find interesting or important.

He added that the source could not confirm whether the Iraqi air force or the US-led coaltion was responsible for the raid.

Troops from the army's 9th Division and elite forces from the Interior Ministry spearheaded the attack, according to the Iraqi military.

On Friday, however, Iraq's prime minister, reacting to the reports, claimed no United States combat troops would stay in Iraq after the fight against IS is concluded.

It is a much smaller footprint than the 170,000 troops deployed at the height of the nine-year occupation that followed the US -led invasion of Iraq in 2003, during which more than 4,000 American soldiers were killed. That is down from the Iraq War high of about 170,000 US troops in 2007.

For Browning, who was deployed to Iraq in 2008, the nature of the USA role is clearly different.

He went on to say that he does not "see any reason to pull out again and face the same lesson", adding that the USA "needs to remain decisively engaged in Iraq and in the region". Not too long, we hope.

Iraqi forces began a new push into western Mosul early Thursday, attempting to bring fresh momentum to the fight to retake Iraq's second-largest city from the Islamic State group.

Iraq's federal police were reported to be just a few hundred meters (yards) away from Mosul's al-Nuri mosque located on the southern edge of Mosul's western sections.

But they do make progress toward that end every day.

The images showed the attacker inside the vehicle before he carried out the attack targeting Iraqi forces, the vehicle advancing on its target and the detonation he purportedly orchestrated.

Moreover, there is no guarantee that U.S. troops largely stationed on isolated bases can reduce Iranian influence, which could come in the form of militias stationed beside their Iraqi counterparts.