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VOA News 210726_07pm

VOA 2-min news 210726_07pm

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VOA 2-min news 210726_07pm


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This is VOA News. Via remote, I'm Marissa Melton.

US President Joe Biden has announced that US forces in Iraq will end their combat duties within months.

He made the announcement on Monday during a White House visit from Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.

Speaking to reporters, Biden said the new role for American troops in Iraq will be to continue to train, to assist, to help and to deal with ISIS as it arises, and when he said ISIS, he meant the Islamic State group.

The President declined to say how many US troops, of the current level of approximately 2,500, will remain there.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters just ahead of the Oval Office meeting, [quote] “This is a shift in mission. It is not a removal of our partnership or our presence or our close engagement with Iraqi leaders.”

More women and children were killed or wounded in Afghanistan in the first half of 2021 than in the first six months of any year since the United Nations began keeping count in 2009. That's according to a UN report on Monday.

Afghanistan saw a 47% increase in the number of all civilians killed and wounded in violence across the country in the first six months of this year compared to the same period last year, according to the report.

Lebanese businessman and former Prime Minister Najib Mikati secured enough votes in parliamentary consultations on Monday to be designated the head of the government again.

His designation as prime minister came after veteran Sunni Muslim politician Saad al-Hariri abandoned attempts at forming a cabinet earlier this month.

Hariri gave up after nine months of deadlock with the Lebanese president. That political squabbling has left Lebanon without an effective government as the country sinks deeper into economic crisis.

This is VOA News.

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