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Official: Abadi agreed to deployment of US ground troops in Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi agreed to deploy US ground troops in Iraq, spokesman for the US-led international coalition, Colonel Steve Warren, announced yesterday.

“Any operation or forces deployed in Iraq have to be there with the approval of the Iraqi government, and Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi has agreed to deploy less than 200 US ground troops in Iraq,” Warren told reporters at the US Embassy in Baghdad.

He explained that a commission of inquiry was formed to investigate the killing of Iraqi soldiers in strikes by international coalition airstrikes. “We will involve the Iraqis in the investigation,” Warren noted.

US warplanes have carried out 9,000 airstrikes against Daesh, he explained, 6,000 in Iraq, adding that Daesh lost 40 per cent of the territory it controlled last year.

“ISIL was defeated in Tikrit and Baiji, northern Iraq and will be defeated in Anbar”, he said, using another acronym for the group. He added that the international coalition strikes have been able to destroy 90 per cent of Daesh’s capacity to export oil in Iraq.

In response to a question about the Italian troops that were deployed near Mosul Dam, northern Iraq, the spokesman said the Iraqi government has awarded an Italian company a maintenance contract to renovate the dam, and these forces are there “to protect Italian workers” noting that they are not part of the international coalition.

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