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Biden’s nominee for Iraq ambassador vows to counter resurgent ISIS

The career diplomat emphasized the role of economic development and good governance in combating the terrorist group.
Ambassador Tracey Jacobson makes Independence Day remarks on May 13, 2022, at the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

President Joe Biden’s nominee for ambassador to Iraq told US lawmakers that any future shift in the role of the US military in the country would take into consideration the resurgent threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq.

“I will ensure any transition from Operation Inherent Resolve to a bilateral security arrangement is geared toward the defeat of ISIS and Iraq’s security,” US Ambassador Tracey Jacobson told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a hearing on Thursday, using the US operational name for the international military effort to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. 

ISIS has continued to carry out small-scale attacks since its defeat by US-backed Iraqi forces in 2017. Last month, ISIS fighters were suspected of attacking an Iraqi army post, killing several soldiers, including a commander. 

Jacobson served previously as ambassador to Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kosovo and most recently led the US Embassy in Ethiopia in an interim role. In response to reports this week that federal officials had arrested eight Tajikistani nationals with alleged ties to ISIS, she said that the militant group remains a threat to US homeland security as well as regional security in the Middle East. 

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