Iraq’s Parliament calls for the expulsion of U.S. troops

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BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s Parliament called for the expulsion of U.S. forces from the country in reaction to the American drone attack that killed a top Iranian general, raising the prospect of a troop withdrawal that could cripple the battle against the Islamic State group and allow a resurgence of the extremists.
Lawmakers approved a resolution asking the Iraqi government to end the agreement under which Washington sent troops more than four years ago to help fight ISIS. The bill is nonbinding and subject to approval by the Iraqi government but has the backing of the outgoing prime minister.
But the vote was another sign of the blowback from the U.S. airstrike Friday that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and a number of top Iraqi officials at the Baghdad airport. Soleimani was the architect of Iran’s proxy wars across the Mideast and was blamed for the deaths of hundreds of Americans in roadside bombings and other attacks.
Speaking to lawmakers in Parliament, Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said that after the killing of Soleimani, the government has two choices: End the presence of foreign troops in Iraq or restrict their mission to training Iraqi forces.
“As a prime minister and supreme commander of the armed forces, I call for adopting the first choice,” Abdul-Mahdi said.
Abdul-Mahdi resigned last year in response to the anti-government protests that have engulfed Baghdad and the mostly Shiite southern provinces. Political factions have been unable to agree on a new prime minister, and Abdul-Mahdi continues in a caretaker capacity.
Asked shortly before the parliamentary vote whether the U.S. would comply with an Iraqi government request for American troops to leave, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would not answer directly.

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