November 20, 2021
Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Meeting With Iraqi Minister of Defense Jumah Inad Sadun al-Jaburi
Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met on November 20 with Minister Jumah Inad Sadun al-Jaburi, Iraq's Minister of Defense, in Manama, Bahrain, during the annual Manama Dialogue. Secretary Austin affirmed the strength and importance of the U.S.-Iraq strategic partnership, and underscored the enduring U.S. commitment to the defeat-ISIS mission.
Secretary Austin confirmed with Minister Sadun that U.S. forces remain in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government to support the Iraqi Security Forces. The United States will uphold the commitments it made during the July 2021 U.S.-Iraq Strategic Dialogue, including that there will be no U.S. forces with a combat role by the end of the year. The two leaders discussed the next phase for the U.S. military mission in Iraq, which will focus on advising, assisting, and sharing intelligence with the Iraqi Security Forces in support of the campaign to defeat ISIS.
Secretary Austin congratulated Minister Sadun on Iraq's secure and technically sound October elections. He condemned the appalling attack on Iraq's Prime Minister earlier this month and shared his hope that government formation would continue peacefully.
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