Qasim al-Araji said on Twitter that fighting troops will withdraw. But Western security and diplomatic officials say this is misleading in terms of the size of forces still present in Iraq. The US-led alliance began its mission in 2014 as part of an international effort to defeat ISIS, also known as Daesh, which had taken over vast areas of Iraq and Syria.
RAF fighter jets have carried out airstrikes on targets in Iraq in support of Iraqi ground forces. Sources yesterday indicated this will continue as Western units in Iraq switch to training and advising. The US has kept 2,500 troops in Iraq since 2020. In March RAF Typhoons spent 10 days pounding ISIS caves.
An MOD Spokesperson said: “The Iraqi government has been clear it supports continued UK and coalition involvement in the fight against Daesh.The RAF continues to conduct operational flights when required, in support of the Iraqi security forces.”