(AP) — President Joe Biden says the U.S. military’s combat mission in Iraq will conclude by the end of the year. But it’s unclear whether that means any reduction in the 2,500 U.S. troops now operating inside Iraq.
Those troops already are focused mainly on what Biden called the new mission — training and advising Iraqi forces. The White House cast Biden’s decision as meaning the United States is entering a new phase in its relationship with Iraq, which is fighting elements of the Islamic State group. Biden called the fight against the Islamic State critical to stability in the region.