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'No need for US troops'

The Iraqi prime minister says his country no longer needs American combat troops, and a formal time frame for their withdrawal would depend on the outcome of his talks with US officials. In an interview, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said the American withdrawal schedule would be based on the needs of Iraqi forces. Al-Kadhimi, who is set to meet with US president Joe Biden in Washington on Monday, underlined that the Iraqi army is capable of conducting its own independent operations against Daesh terrorists. However, the premier said Iraq will still ask for the US help for training and military intelligence gathering in its fight against terrorism. The US agreed in April to remove over two-thousand five-hundred combat troops out of Iraq, but no timeline was announced. In January 2020, Iraq’s parliament issued a resolution demanding the government to expel American forces from the country.

Afghanistan fighting

Afghan government troops have pushed back Taliban militants from strategic positions in more than a dozen provinces in the country. Military officials say scores of militants have been killed in clashes with government forces. Earlier, Press TV’s correspondent Amin Alemi gave us more details about the army operations in different parts of Afghanistan.

Anger at COVID-19 policies

Police have clashed with anti-lockdown protesters in the Greek and French capitals as anger boils in several European countries as well as Australia over restrictions to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Riot police in Athens fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse the protesters. This is the second rally in a week in Greece against the Covid vaccination drive. Similar protests have been held in other parts of the world. In France, clashes erupted between police and protesters angry over new restrictions put in place amid a steep rise in infections. Hundreds of protesters also rallied in the Italian capital, Rome, against the compulsory vaccine pass program. And in Australia’s Sydney, people once again hit the streets to denounce a month-long lockdown measures. The demonstration was held a day after officials said restrictions could remain in place until October. A similar rally was held in Melbourne.

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