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    Armed Iraq groups threaten to strike US forces if no withdrawal date is set

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    The Coordinating Body of the Iraqi Resistance Factions yesterday warned that it would direct large and accurate strikes against US forces in Iraq if no clear date is set for their final withdrawal from the country, Anadolu reported.

    “Today, the resistance finds itself obliged (…) to direct large and precise blows if this dialogue does not include a clear and explicit declaration of the final withdrawal date for the occupation forces: by land, air, and completely,” the body, which includes Iran- backed militia groups such as the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades, said in a statement.

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    Iraqi and US officials held the third round of strategic dialogue to discuss a number of issues including cooperation in combating terrorism yesterday.

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    In a joint statement after the talks, the two governments said the mission of US forces was now focused on training Iraqi troops to fight Daesh and as a result US combat troops wouldn’t be needed in the country.

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    READ: Protesters shut down oil facilities in southern Iraq

    They added that they had agreed on the eventual withdrawal of US combat troops from Iraq and that the two governments would hold further talks to work out the timing.

    The Iraqi Resistance Factions said the meeting’s final statement was “vague.. and does not contain any indication of the implementation of the Parliament’s decision to expel American occupation forces from Iraq.”

    In January 2020, the Iraqi parliament voted on a resolution to remove all foreign forces from the country after the US assassinated Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a drone attack near Baghdad airport.

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    Some 2,500 American soldiers are stationed in Iraq as part of the anti- ISIS international coalition.

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