16:54 GMT09 May 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The US strategy of remaining largely invisible to ordinary Iraqis in efforts to defeat the Daesh* terror group needs to continue if American forces are to remain in Iraq, the private intelligence firm Soufan Group said in a report on Thursday.

    "Now the US will shift to a lower-profile but essentially permanent presence in Iraq," the report said. "The US will continue to advise and train but seek to avoid becoming a political or social problem for the [Prime Minister Haider] al-Abadi government."

    On May 1, the US Defense Department announced it was disbanding the command structure it had set up almost four years ago to assist the Iraqi military and security services in their fight against Daesh.

    READ MORE: US-Led Coalition Signals End of Major Anti-Daesh Ops in Iraq

    But ending the command structure "doesn’t mean the US is completely pulling its uniformed personnel from Iraq," even though future US troop strength and the role for American forces has yet to be defined, the report noted.

    Keeping the US troops in remote bases and off the streets of Baghdad helped keep the issue off the front pages during the battle to defeat Daesh, the report said.

    The bottom line, according to the release, is that the US wants to continue helping without having its military participation create political problems, according to the report.

    *Daesh (also known as Islamic State, ISIL, ISIS, IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia 


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