Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) – The presence of American troops in Iraq came at a request of the Iraqi government to improve combat skills of the country’s army, U.S. Ambassador in Baghdad Matthew Tueller said on Sunday.
Speaking at a press conference at the headquarters of the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, Tueller affirmed that the U.S.-led international coalition will continue its mission in Iraq as long as needed to prevent the return of Islamic State militants.
Tueller stressed that the U.S. government listed hardline Iraqi Shiite militia Harakat Hezbollah Al Nujaba and the Lebanese Hezbollah as terrorist groups for their cooperation with extremist organizations and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iraq.
Tensions have risen recently between Washington and Iran as the U.S. administration sent bombers and aircraft carriers to the Middle East to counter what it described as potential threats against U.S interests from Iran.
Tehran responded with warnings that it was ready to counter American threats.
The uneasy atmosphere prompted a number of Western countries to announce withdrawal of some of their military or civilian workers in Iraq.