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Iraq says deadline of US military exit not extended

 
Baghdad, Nov 21 (IANS) Iraq has denied reports that the US had extended the period of its military presence in Iraq beyond December 31.

Tahseen al-Khafaji, spokesman of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command, told local media that the reports about extending the deadline of US troops' withdrawal from Iraq are "inaccurate and incorrect", and the scheduled exit of American combat troops on December 31 is not changed, reports Xinhua news agency.

Al-Khafaji explained that the cooperation between Iraq and the US after the departure of the combat troops would be in the areas of training, armament, and intelligence information against the Islamic State terror group.

The spokesman's comment came after media reports said the US combat forces will not leave Iraq and Syria despite arguments that Washington should disengage from the Middle East following its quick Afghanistan withdrawal.

In July, the US and Iraq held a session of strategic dialogue, during which the two countries agreed to withdraw all American combat troops from Iraq by the December 31 deadline.

--IANS
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