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Ongoing talks in Mosul center on land, American troops and safety readiness

MOSUL – Ongoing talks and discussions between US troops and the Iraqi government have been center recently on the issue of Americans taking ownership of Iraqi land. The actual soil, after the defeat of Isis is a prime topic of negotiations President Trump and  Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

These conversations stem in support of the Trump administration to keep American troops in Iraq after the fight against the Islamic State group is nearly an end according to a U.S. official and an official from the Iraqi government.

Brief Overview ~

Thousands of Iraqi security forces, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Sunni Arab tribesmen and Shia militiamen, assisted by US-led coalition warplanes and military advisers, are involved in the offensive, which was launched on 17 October 2016.

The government announced the full “liberation” of eastern Mosul in January 2017. But the west of the city has presented a more difficult challenge, with its narrow, winding streets.

On Friday, May 5, 2017, Iraq’s Prime Minister said, U.S. combat troops will not stay in Iraq after the fight against the Islamic State group is over.

Haider al-Abadi emphasized that there are no foreign combat troops on Iraqi soil and that any American troops who stay on once IS militants are defeated will be advisers working to train Iraq’s security forces to maintain “full readiness” for any “future security challenges.” Any forces who remained would continue to be designated as advisers

Regardless of how the troops are designated, talks about maintaining American forces in Iraq point to a consensus by both governments that a longer-term U.S. presence in Iraq is needed to ensure that an insurgency does not bubble up again once IS militants are driven out says an official.

Even after the victory, US and Iraqi officials have warned of the potential for IS to carry out insurgent attacks in government held territory.

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