Iraq’s new prime minister and President Trump refrained on Thursday from setting a schedule for withdrawing American troops from the country, as they grappled with the threat posed by remnants of ISIS and the ongoing need to train Iraqi forces.
“We definitely don’t need combat troops in Iraq,” said Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who met with Mr. Trump for the first time Thursday. “But we do need training and capacity enhancement and security cooperation.”
Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly talked about extracting U.S. forces from “endless wars,” was just as careful not to set an end date for the American military presence, which was triggered by the advance of ISIS militants in 2014.
When a reporter asked about his timetable for withdrawing the 5,200 U.S. troops in Iraq, Mr. Trump turned to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said that the U.S. forces would leave “as soon as we can complete the mission.”