Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani has announced plans to terminate the mission of US-led coalition forces in Iraq. This decision comes in the wake of a US airstrike in Baghdad that killed Mushtaq Jawad Kazim al-Jawari. A former commander of the Harakat-al-Nujaba militia, a Shia group directly linked to the Iranian government and was designated a terrorist organization by the US in 2019. Al-Sudani’s statement indicates a push for complete national sovereignty and may impact over 2,000 American service members and allied coalition troops in Iraq.
Al-Sudani’s announcement follows his government’s formation of a bilateral committee aimed at determining arrangements for the coalition’s exit. This move marks a significant shift from al-Sudani’s previous stance; in January 2023, he had declined to set a timeline for US withdrawal, acknowledging the need for American forces in training Iraqi troops.
The Pentagon, responding to al-Sudani’s comments, has stressed the US forces’ role in Iraq under the government’s invitation, focusing on training and advising in support of the Defeat-ISIS mission. Despite the Iraqi government’s criticism of the recent airstrike, the Pentagon has defended the action as a self-defense strike against a threat to American personnel.