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Biden returning to the White House on July 25. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The United States' combat mission against the Islamic State in Iraq will be completed "by the end of the year," President Biden said Monday prior to a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

Why it matters: Biden is close to shifting the U.S. military mission in Iraq to a fully advisory role more than 18 years after combat troops were sent to the country under the former President George W. Bush.

What they're saying: U.S. troops would "be available, to continue to train, to assist, to help, and to deal with ISIS as it...arrives.  But we’re not going to be, by the end of the year, in a combat mission," Biden told reporters before the meeting.

  • He did not offer a formal end date to the conflict mission, which commenced more than seven years ago.

By the numbers: There are currently around 2,500 U.S. troops in Iraq who are primarily training Iraqi security forces and performing counter-terrorism operations against the remnants of ISIS.

  • A small number of U.S. service members will remain in Iraq indefinitely in logistics, advisory and intelligence roles and to coordinate air support for Iraqi forces in the fight against ISIS.

The big picture: The meeting comes as Democrats are working to repeal the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) in Iraq. If passed by the Senate, the repeal would prevent the president from carrying out attacks in Iraq without securing prior approval from Congress.

  • al-Kadhimi has told multiple news outlets that he believes U.S. combat troops are no longer needed in the country to counter ISIS, though he stressed that Iraqi security forces will still ask for U.S. training and military intelligence gathering.
  • A formal agreement between the countries is a political win for al-Kadhimi, who faces parliamentary elections in around three months amid pressure from Shiite political groups that want all American troops in Iraq to depart.

Go deeper: U.S. military mission in Afghanistan will end Aug. 31

Go deeper

17 hours ago - World

Leader of Islamic State in Sahara has been killed, Macron says

French President Emmanuel Macron. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron announced via Twitter on Wednesday that French military forces killed the head of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, Abu al-Walid al-Sahrawi.

Why it matters: "It is a decisive blow against this terrorist group," French Defense Minister Florence Parly tweeted, congratulating the military and intelligence agents who contributed to the mission.

Senate offices closing ahead of "Justice for J6" demonstration

Security fencing outside the U.S. Capitol ahead of a planned "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C.. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Multiple congressional offices will be closed Friday amid security precautions ahead of Saturday's rally in support of jailed Jan. 6 rioters, aides who have been instructed to work remotely tell Axios.

Why it matters: As the U.S. Capitol faces its first large-scale security test since the deadly attack, House and Senate offices are taking precautionary measures to protect staff as well as lawmakers.

State Department partners with aid group welcoming Afghan refugees to U.S.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaking in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 14. Photo: Mandel Ngan-Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Thursday that the State Department is partnering with Welcome.US, an aid group helping to welcome and support Afghan refugees who fled their country for the U.S.

Why it matters: The partnership is part of the Biden administration's Operation Allies Welcome, which involves the processing and resettlement of the more than 65,000 Afghans evacuated during the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan.