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Monday 24 July 2017

Iraq in talks to keep US troops after IS battle ends

US soldiers fire artillery in support of Iraqi forces fighting Islamic State militants from their base east of Mosul (AP/Maya Alleruzzo)
US soldiers fire artillery in support of Iraqi forces fighting Islamic State militants from their base east of Mosul (AP/Maya Alleruzzo)

Iraq is in talks with the US to keep American troops there after the fight against Islamic State in the country is concluded, government officials say.

A US and an Iraqi government official said Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is in talks with the administration of US president Donald Trump.

The officials emphasised that the discussions are ongoing.

The talks point to a consensus by both governments that, in contrast to the US withdrawal in 2011, a longer-term presence of American troops in Iraq is needed to ensure security.

Iraqi forces are struggling to push IS fighters out of a cluster of areas in the western part of Mosul that mark the last patch of significant urban terrain the group holds in the country.

AP

Press Association

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