Pompeo speaks with Iraqi PM on defeating IS

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi on the phone Friday, underlining the US-Iraq partnership to defeat Islamic State (IS), the State Department said in a statement. Pompeo noted that the U.S.-led coalition would continue to work with Iraqi Security Forces to defeat the IS remnants, according to the statement. 

He also reiterated his support for the continuation and deepening of the U.S.-Iraq partnership.
The two officials also discussed the territorial defeat of the IS in Syria, which was the rationale behind the Trump administration’s decision to pull out U.S. troops from Syria. The pullout decision also led to speculation about possible adjustment of U.S. military presence in Iraq. 

Earlier this month, Iraq celebrated the first anniversary of full liberation of all Iraqi land from the IS militants. Some observers noted that the influence of Iranian-allied factions in Iraq’s political and security arenas might result in continued U.S. military presence in the country. There are 5,200 U.S. troops currently deployed in Iraq’s capital of Baghdad and the country’s north and west.

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