Hadi al-Amiri, the head of the alliance, used the Iraqi Army Day on January 6 as an opportunity to reiterate the call for putting an end to the presence of foreign forces in Iraq.
The achievements of the Iraqi Army demonstrate its “complete competency and readiness” for fulfilling duties related to maintaining security and stability without any need for the presence of foreign forces on Iraqi soil, he said.
“Therefore, we ask for urgent withdrawal of all foreign military forces and establishment of national sovereignty,” he added.
While the US claims it has ended its combat mission in Iraq, some 2,500 US troops still remain inside the Arab country in what Washington describes as an “advisory” mission.
Anti-US sentiments have been steadily broiling in Iraq since the 2020 assassination of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units, along with the region’s legendary anti-terror commander, Iranian Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.
The two commanders were targeted along with their companions on January 3, 2020, in a cowardly terrorist drone strike authorized by then-US president Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport. Two days after the attack, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill that required the government to end the presence of all foreign military forces led by the US.
US President Joe Biden and Iraq’s then-Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi declared in July 2021 that the US mission in Iraq would transition from combat to an “advisory” role by the end of that year.
“The delegations decided, following recent technical talks, that the security relationship will fully transition to a training, advising, assisting, and intelligence-sharing role, and that there will be no US forces with a combat role in Iraq by December 31, 2021,” Baghdad and Washington said in a joint statement at the time.