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Iraq says joint operations with US-led coalition resume

BAGHDAD — Joint military operations with the US-led coalition to counter the Islamic State group resume after a nearly three-week pause, an Iraqi military statement says.

The pause comes amid heightened tensions after a Washington-led airstrike killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad.

The statement says joint operations had resumed in light of the continued threat posed by IS. Militants belonging to the group are holed up in parts of northern Iraq.

The statement also implies that Baghdad is standing by intentions to reorganize Iraq’s military relationship with the US.

“In light of continued activities by the terrorist group (IS) in many areas of Iraq and for the purpose of making use of the remaining time of the international coalition before organizing a new relationship … it was decided to carry out joint actions,” the statement says.

The statement is issued by the office of the armed forces’ commander in chief. As prime minister, Adil Abdul-Mahdi assumes that role.

The coalition paused operations in support of Iraqi forces in the fight against IS militants on January 5 after a US airstrike killed Iran’s elite Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani and senior Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis on Iraqi soil, sparking outrage among Iraqi officials.

— AP

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