Washington has an agreement with Baghdad on privileges and immunities for the growing number of troops based in Iraq who are helping in the fight against the Islamic State group, the new U.S. ambassador said Thursday.

In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Stuart Jones said Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has given assurances that U.S. troops will receive immunity from prosecution. Under Iraq’s former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, that issue was a major sticking point, ultimately leading to the decision to withdraw all remaining U.S. troops in late 2011.

“That was a different situation and those troops would have had a different role,” Jones said. […]