United States Ambassador to Iraq Douglas A. Silliman said that Washington backs Iraqi efforts in countering terrorism.
Silliman also denied recent reports of a surge in international coalition troops in Kirkuk, explaining that recent military movements were merely for the transportation of military equipment.
“Our forces have been in Kirkuk for a long time,” he said without specifying any timelines. He asserted it was merely a “transfer of equipment to and from the military base.”
Silliman was also quoted as saying in the press conference that the US would secure USD115 million for reconstruction.
“The transfer of military equipment to the base was done in coordination with Iraqi forces in the context of the war against [ISIS] and terrorist groups,” he concluded, echoing the US-led coalition’s statement last week.
“For operational security reasons, we do not publicly announce specific movements of Coalition forces in theater,” the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) statement read.
“Any redistribution of forces in Iraq is coordinated with our Iraqi hosts and is based on operational requirements.”
“As [ISIS] continues to lose territory in Iraq and major operations decrease, the Coalition will tailor how we support the Iraqi Security Forces,” the statement continued.
The diplomat also said that the US supports any effort by the Iraqi government in the fight against corruption and that it works closely with the Iraqi government concerning economic reform.
He pointed out that the US is working with the World Bank and the Iraqi Government to hold conferences to encourage US and other investors to support Iraq.
Silliman also stressed that US officials were cooperating closely with the Iraqi prime minister’s office with a view to stepping up the fight against corruption.