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 “Yankee, Go Home!” - Iraqi parliament passes resolution calling for US troops to be expelled

By ICH &Agencies

January 05, 2020 "Information Clearing House" -  Iraq's parliament held an extraordinary session on Sunday, directing the government to end the presence of foreign troops and to lodge an official complaint against the US over the killing of Qassem Suleimani, a top Iranian general. The Prime Minister revealed that he was scheduled to meet with Soleimani the same morning the general was killed in an airstrike in Baghdad. The PM said, said that the US assassination was a "flagrant violation of Iraqi sovereignty" and an insult to the dignity of his country.

The resolution asks Iraq’s government to cancel the request for assistance from the U.S.-led coalition operating in the country against the Islamic State.

“The government commits to revoke its request for assistance from the international coalition fighting Islamic State due to the end of military operations in Iraq and the achievement of victory,” the resolution read.

“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.”

Parliament also called on the government to ban the use of Iraqi airspace by any foreign power.

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The bill is subject to approval by the Iraqi government and cancelling the US-Iraq agreement requires giving a one-year notice for withdrawal.

The PM added that there are two options available regarding the withdrawal of US-led coalition troops. The first would see their immediate and complete withdrawal, the second would order foreign military personnel to leave gradually.

“As Prime Minister and senior commander, I recommend the first option. Despite the external and internal difficulties that we may encounter, this option is fundamentally better for Iraq ... It will help reorganise relations with the US and other nations, maintain cordial relations on the basis that territorial sovereignty is respected, and allows for no interference in internal affairs," Mahdi remarked.

Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr stated in a letter that Iraq should go further and shut down the US embassy.

Late on Saturday, missiles hit the Baghdad enclave where the US embassy is located and an airbase north of the capital housing US troops, prompting President Donald Trump to threaten strikes on 52 sites in Iran.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Fox News on Sunday that it is likely that Iran will "make a mistake" and try to attack US troops in Iraq or Syria.

The US-led military coalition in Iraq announced on Sunday it is putting the fight against ISIS militants on hold to focus on protecting its troops and bases. The coalition said it is suspending the training of Iraqi forces and other operations in support of the battle against ISIS.


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Reuters contributed to this report

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