[Fox News] Biden to host Iraq’s leader after Iran’s attack on Israel spurs chaos across the Middle East

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President Biden is set to host Iraq’s leader this week for talks after Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel over the weekend. U.S. forces in Iraq were specifically credited with helping shoot down Iranian missiles that were intending to strike Israel.

Monday’s meeting between Biden, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Iraqi Prime Minister Shia al-Sudani is expected to address regional stability and the viability of keeping an American military presence in Iraq, through which portions of Iran’s Saturday drone and missile attack on Israel flew or were launched from.

The meeting is also expected to include discussions of economic, trade and energy issues, according to U.S. officials.

The U.S. leaders could also discuss future U.S. troop deployments. “It is not the primary focus of the visit … but it is almost certainly going to come up,” one senior U.S. official told The Associated Press.

US DESTROYED MORE THAN 80 DRONES, AT LEAST 6 BALLISTIC MISSILES FROM IRAN AND YEMEN

U.S. Central Command said in a statement that U.S. European Command destroyers supported U.S. forces while they engaged and destroyed more than 80 one-way attack uncrewed aerial vehicles and at least six ballistic missiles.

This included a U.S. Patriot battery in Irbil, Iraq, knocking down at least one Iranian ballistic missile, The Associated Press reported, citing American officials.

The White House initially announced al-Sudani’s visit to Washington last month.

IRAN CLAIMS TO FOLLOW DRONE LAUNCH AT ISRAEL WITH BALLISTIC MISSILE BARRAGE

The leaders will “consult on a range of issues,” including the fight against the Islamic State and “ongoing Iraqi financial reforms to promote economic development and progress toward Iraq’s financial independence and modernization,” the White House said.

The U.S. and Iraq began formal talks in January about ending the regional coalition initially created to help the Iraqi government fight ISIS. Some 2,000 U.S. troops remained in the country under an agreement with Baghdad.

The two countries have a delicate relationship due in part to Iran’s considerable sway in Iraq, where a coalition of Iran-backed groups brought al-Sudani to power in October 2022.

The U.S. in recent months has urged Iraq to use its influence in Iran to help prevent attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria that have escalated in the aftermath of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

Iran’s attack on Israel further underscored U.S. concerns.

Al-Sudani came to power in late 2022. Since then, al-Sudani has attempted to maintain a balancing act between Iran and America despite being seen as being close to Tehran.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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