Iraq resumes talks with US on future of anti-jihadist coalition

Iraq said Sunday it had resumed talks with the United States on the future of the anti-jihadist coalition, expressing hope that they would not be disrupted and lead to an outcome soon.

A first round of talks opened on January 27 but was swiftly suspended after a drone attack killed three US military personnel at a base in Jordan the following day, leading to US reprisal strikes.

"The supreme Iraqi military commission resumed on Sunday its meetings with international coalition forces in Baghdad," General Yehia Rasool, military spokesman for Iraq's prime minister, said in a statement.

"As long as nothing disrupts the serenity of these talks, the meetings will take place on a regular basis in order to achieve the commission's works as soon as possible," he added.

Rasool said the meetings were aimed at setting up a "timeline" for a "progressive pullout" of coalition forces from Iraq, leading to the end of its mission.

The US-led military coalition was formed in 2014 to fight the Islamic State group -- the year the jihadist group overran nearly a third of Iraq's territory and swathes of neighbouring Syria.

US and allied troops have been targeted more than 165 times in the Middle East since mid-October, in attacks linked to the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.


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