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

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

The US-backed Iraqi forces imposed a siege on Islamic State's (ISIS) militants in the northwestern part of the war-torn city of Mosul, officials reported on Thursday.

Iraqi officials have since said the battle would be over by the end of May, though some military observers remain skeptical it will be completed before late summer.

Iraqi forces pushed further into Mosul from the north on the second day of a new push to speed up the almost seven-month attempt to dislodge ISIS, commanders said on Friday.

The footage was shared by the Iraqi Federal Police and is described as showing Iraqi forces north of Mosul.

IRAQI security forces announced the opening of a new front yesterday in their ongoing operation against Isis death cult militants in north-west Mosul.

The talks involve U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Iraqi officials over "what the long-term U.S. presence would look like", the American official said, adding that discussions were in early stages and "nothing has been finalized".

Currently, the Pentagon has close to 7,000 us troops in Iraq, many not publicly acknowledged because they are on temporary duty or under specific personnel rules.

In the past few days, Iraqi forces had already prepared for the launch of the fresh front by opening a new exit for trapped civilians, who live in dire humanitarian conditions in the ISIS enclave.

More news: Pakistani Army violates ceasefire in J&K's Poonch district

At the height of the surge of USA forces in 2007, there were about 170,000 American troops in the country.

An American company helping secure the Iraqi base where F-16 fighter jets battle the Islamic State group turned a blind eye to alcohol smuggling, theft, security violations and allegations of sex trafficking.

Rasool said Iraqi forces rescued 1,000 families on Thursday.

"I also believe that what we saw and participated in was a major transformation", he said.

"Why is al-Abadi using American security partners" asked Jafar al-Husseini, a spokesman for Kataib Hezbollah, "when Iraqi security forces and the Popular Mobilization Forces have the ability to protect internal roads and borders?"

In Iraq, the U.S. troops would support their local counterparts with skills where they still fall short like counter terrorism, intelligence gathering and aviation, a United States defense official explained to BuzzFeed News.

Jafar al-Husseini, a representative from the Kataib Hezbollah militia - who are closely linked to Iran - said the army and paramilitaries were strong enough to defend Iraq themselves.

After a territorial victory, Iraqi and US-led coalition officials have warned of the potential for IS to carry out insurgent attacks in government held territory.

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