US military resumes joint ops in Iraq that were halted after Soleimani’s killing – reports

The US military has reportedly resumed anti-terrorism ops and joint drills with Iraq that had been suspended after Washington assassinated a top Iranian commander in Baghdad.

American forces have begun to take part in missions against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) militants in Iraq, US officials have said, adding that the military will soon recommence its training of Iraqi troops. However, the joint US-Iraq operations are not as numerous as they were before, according to reports.

The resumption of anti-terrorism operations comes nearly two weeks after a US drone strike killed Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani. The targeted assassination enraged Baghdad, prompting Washington to suspend military activity in the country. Iran responded to the assassination by launching missiles at Iraqi bases that housed US troops.

Soleimani’s killing led to the Iraqi Parliament passing a non-binding resolution calling on all foreign troops to leave the country. US President Donald Trump dismissed the resolution and said that he would impose sanctions on Iraq if US troops were forced out of the country. He insisted that Baghdad should compensate the United States for military bases built in the Middle Eastern country before a full withdrawal could be considered.

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A U.S. F-22 Raptor, based out of Al Udeid Base in Doha, Qatar, receives fuel from a 28th Expeditionary Air Refuelling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker during a combat air patrol mission over an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia © Reuters / U.S. Air Force / Handout / Russ Scalf
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