May 27, 2020
State Secretary Mike Pompeo and his Italian counterpart, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, will co-host a virtual meeting for members of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS) on June 4, the State Department announced today.
“The ministers will discuss ways to continue to press [IS] remnants in Iraq and Syria and strengthen our collective approach to defeat [IS’] global ambition, while managing the challenges facing the coalition due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “the State Department said in a statement.
Why it matters: The meeting took place before Washington and Baghdad convened for a separate strategic dialogue late next month, where the two sides will complete the presence of US forces in Iraq in the future. Iraq’s parliament passed a non-binding resolution calling for the expulsion of US forces after President Donald Trump ordered a January air strike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani and top leader of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Unit, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, at Baghdad Airport. Corona virus pandemic and threat Iran’s proxy attack also encourage the United States to attract hundreds troops from several Iraqi bases. After Baghdad stopped the training program, various coalition countries withdrew or moved the troops they had in Iraq.
What’s next: The United States said it anticipated inviting coalition partners to return to Iraq to resume training within two months, the Pentagon Correspondent Jared Szuba reports.
Know more: Elizabeth Hagedorn reports IS a prison riot in a detention facility managed by the Syrian Democratic Forces supported by Kurds.
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