U.S. Army paratroopers heading to Iraq, Jan. 1. Photo: Capt. Robyn Haake/US Army/AFP via Getty Images
The U.S.-led military coalition created to combat the Islamic State announced Sunday that it is limiting operations against ISIS and instead is focusing on protecting Iraqi bases from potential attacks by Iran-backed militia groups in response to the killing of commander Qasem Soleimani.
Why it matters: As a result of President Trump's bold decision to take out Soleimani, American forces in Syria and Iraq must now devote resources to protecting their bases, greatly hampering the coalition's primary goal of combating ISIS.
What they're saying: "Repeated rocket attacks over the last two months by elements of Kata'ib Hezbollah have caused the death of Iraqi Security Forces personnel and a U.S. civilian. As a result we are now fully committed to protecting the Iraqi bases that host Coalition troops," the coalition said.
- "This has limited our capacity to conduct training with partners and to support their operations against Daesh and we have therefore paused these activities, subject to continuous review."
What's next: The coalition said it remains "ready" to resume operations against ISIS, but did not give a restart time or date.