- Iraq‘s prime minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, has told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the US should begin preparing for a troop withdrawal from the country, the Associated Press reported Friday.
- He asked the US to “send delegates to Iraq to prepare a mechanism to carry out the parliament’s resolution regarding the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq,” a statement from his office said.
- Iraq’s parliament recently passed a nonbinding resolution calling for the end of foreign military operations in Iraq in response to the US drone strike in Iraq that killed the top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani.
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Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a call Thursday night that the US should begin preparing for a troop withdrawal, the Associated Press reported Friday.
The Iraqi prime minister asked the US to “send delegates to Iraq to prepare a mechanism to carry out the parliament’s resolution regarding the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq,” a statement from the prime minister’s office said, according to the AP.
Abdul-Mahdi resigned last year but has continued to preside over the government in an acting capacity.
Iraq’s parliament passed a resolution Sunday calling for the end of foreign military operations in Iraq.
“The Iraqi government must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace, or water for any reason,” the nonbinding resolution said, according to Reuters.
The vote followed the US drone strike in Baghdad that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force.
“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” the Department of Defence said after the shocking strike. President Donald Trump said Thursday – without offering evidence – that Soleimani was killed because he was “looking to blow up our embassy.”
The strike outraged Iraqi leadership and led the Iraqi prime minister to call for foreign troops to depart Iraq, something he said was necessary “for the sake of our national sovereignty.”
The future of the roughly 5,000 US troops in Iraq remains unclear.
“America is a force for good in the Middle East,” a State Department spokeswoman, Morgan Ortagus, saidFriday. “At this time, any delegation sent to Iraq would be dedicated to discussing how to best recommit to our strategic partnership – not to discuss troop withdrawal, but our right, appropriate force posture in the Middle East.”
“There does,” she added, “need to be a conversation between the US and Iraqi governments not just regarding security but about our financial, economic, and diplomatic partnership. We want to be a friend and partner to a sovereign, prosperous, and stable Iraq.”
- Read more:
- What it was like on a base in Iraq as Iranian missiles were incoming
- Tensions between the US and Iran may help drive an ISIS resurgence in Iraq
- Trump is claiming victory over Iran, but his escalation has alienated allies, hurt US-Iraq relations, provoked Iran to leave the nuclear deal, and jeopardized efforts against ISIS
- Satellite images show base damage after Iran launched a missile attack on US and coalition forces in Iraq
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