Small Wars Journal

Iraqi Officials Say Baghdad Wants to Minimize Reliance on U.S. Military in Fight Against Islamic State

Iraqi Officials Say Baghdad Wants to Minimize Reliance on U.S. Military in Fight Against Islamic State by Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Samya Kullab – Associated Press

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi government has told its military not to seek assistance from the U.S.-led coalition in operations against the Islamic State group, two senior Iraqi military officials said, amid a crisis of mistrust between Washington and Baghdad after an American strike killed a top Iranian general and an Iraqi militia commander.

The step shows that while the Iraqi leadership’s demands for an immediate removal of American forces have cooled, they are serious about rethinking the strategic relationship, and this is directly affecting military cooperation.

Officially, Iraqis have been unclear on the status of joint operations. The Iraqi military announced Jan. 30 that they had resumed after a three-week halt, but that statement was later removed and a military spokesperson rescinded the claim in remarks to state television. It was not followed up with a clarification…

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