US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has assured Iraqi President Barham Salih that operations against ISIS are not over, but are entering a new phase, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said, APA reports citing Sputnik.
Blinken spoke with Salih on Saturday. Price said in a statement after the talks that the US was committed to a stable Iraq and that Washington had taken note of Iraq's efforts to hold fair elections on October 10.
"The Secretary reiterated that the Defeat-ISIS mission is not over but is shifting to a new phase based on the enhanced capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces," Price said, adding that the "United States, as leader of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS [Islamic State], and part of the NATO Mission to Iraq, will continue to train, advise, and enable Iraqi forces."
There are currently an estimated 2,500 US troops in Iraq assisting local forces to counter Daesh remnants.
Biden said in July that the US combat mission in Iraq would come to a close by the end of this year. After December 31, 2021, the United States is expected to switch to training and assisting Iraqi forces to counter Islamic State and other terrorists.