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US, Iraq agree to legal protections for special forces teams deploying to the country

The Pentagon says the U.S. and Iraq have reached an agreement on legal protections for American commandos deploying into Iraq to assess and advise Iraqi forces.

Rear Adm. John Kirby says Iraq outlined acceptable legal assurances for the short-term mission in a diplomatic note ensuring that troops will not be subject to Iraq's judicial process, but to the U.S. military's code of justice. The legal protections are the same as those provided to U.S. employees and troops working at the embassy.

Two teams of special forces already in Iraq could begin their assessments later this week. Four more teams will join them soon.

Iraq refused to sign a legal protections agreement with the U.S. force in 2011 so the U.S. didn't leave a residual force there when combat ended.

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