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

Washington and Baghdad are already in talks to keep American troops in Iraq after the fight against the Islamic State group in the country is concluded, USA official and Iraqi officials told the Associated Press, talks The New Arab's sources in Iraq's parliament say are proceeding without the legislature's knowledge.

There are now more than 6,000 American combat troops deployed in Iraq, but that number has been steadily increasing over the last few months - though it's unclear by how much.

After the horrific scale of the carnage inflicted by the strike became known, both United States and Iraqi military spokesmen attempted to blame the deaths on ISIS, claiming that it had herded people into a house booby-trapped with explosives and then lured the American warplanes into attacking it. "They were trying to bait us into destroying this building", said U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel James Browning.

The offensive to retake Mosul began October 17, led by Iraqi security forces and aided by the Kurdish Peshmerga, a Shiite-led militia, and the US -led worldwide coalition. "The final aim is to retake the area where al-Baghdadi proclaimed the caliphate", said Jamjoom.

Any forces who remained would continue to be designated as advisers for the same reason, the Iraqi government official had told the AP.

His troops had killed about 30 militants and destroyed five vehicle bombs before they could be used against them, he said. Mosul is a city split between eastern and western halves by the Tigris River.




Iraqi forces also hope to split ISIS's defenses and ease the advance of its special counter-terrorism force into the historic parts of the city, where ISIS appears poised to make its last stand. "We were freed, but we are not happy because we lost the people closest to us".

Troop levels reached as many as 170,000 in 2007, during the height of the post-war insurgency, but were wound down to 40,000 before a full withdrawal in 2011.

The ISIS militants are now "besieged" in all areas they control in Mosul and are "under the fireline" of the Iraqi forces, Brig.

However, as the Iraqi army proved to be riddled with corruption and inexperience - and fearing the influence of Iranian-backed militias - the USA has gradually increased its ground presence in the country.

Adding to the soaring number of civilian victims of the Iraqi invasion of the ISIS-held city of Mosul, a Thursday night attack against Western Mosul saw Iraqi warplanes bombing a shuttered school, which they insisted they thought was being used as a "bomb factory".

In October, the Iraqi army - backed by US -led coalition airstrikes and local allies on the ground - began a wide-ranging operation to retake Mosul, Daesh's last bastion in northern Iraq, which the militant group overran in 2014.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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