Baghdad tells military officials to minimize reliance on US

Monitoring Desk

BAGHDAD: The Iraqi government has told its military not to seek assistance from the US-led coalition in operations against the Islamic State jihadist group, two senior Iraqi military officials say, in the latest tensions between Washington and Baghdad after an American strike killed a top Iranian general and Iraqi militia commander.

Officially, the Iraqi military announced January 30 that it and the coalition resumed joint military operations after a three-week halt. The pause was called amid soaring tensions following the Jan. 3 US airstrike ordered by US President Donald Trump that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and senior Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

But in practice, Iraqis are seeking to minimize coalition assistance against IS, based on government orders, two Iraqi military officials and one militia official said this week.

“After the killing of Soleimani, the Iraqi government decided to inform us formally not to cooperate and not to seek assistance from the US-led international coalition in any operation,” a senior military intelligence official tells The Associated Press.

The US-led coalition paused its mission to fight IS in Iraq on January 5 in the wake of the strike. (AP)