Iraqis call for United States troops to be expelled after Trump's remarks

06 February, 2019, 04:11 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Donald Trump will keep troops in Iraq to 'watch Iran'

Published on Monday, the report authored by the Pentagon and State Department inspectors-general also blamed Turkey for spoiling the US-backed Kurdish militia's operations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), and predicts no end to strife in the region, going against President Donald Trump's order to withdraw usa troops from Syria.

President Donald Trump did not tell Baghdad leadership about any plan to keep US troops in Iraq to "watch" Iran, Iraqi President Barham Salih said Monday.

The top commander of United States forces in the Middle East, General Joseph Votel, told a Senate committee on Tuesday that he was not asked for his advice about a withdrawal of United States troops from Syria before President Donald Trump announced his decision. "It's perfectly situation for looking all over different parts of the troubled Middle East rather than pulling up".

"I was not aware of the specific announcement", Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

On Thursday, the US Senate voted overwhelmingly for a measure sponsored by Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, warning against a "precipitous withdrawal" from Afghanistan and Syria.

FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters after signing a proclamation declaring his intention to withdraw from the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington, May 8, 2018. "Certainly, we are aware that (President Trump) had expressed a desire and intent in the past to depart Iraq, depart Syria".

The Iraqi president said USA troops had no right to monitor Iran under the agreement between the two nations, and that their specific mission was to combat terrorism, according to Reuters. "At the same time, at a certain point, we want to bring our people back home".

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Opponents included every senator considering a 2020 presidential run, and four Republicans, who said US foreign policy needs a rethink.

"Don't overburden Iraq with your own issues", President Saleh told a forum in Baghdad on Monday.

Iraqis in the capital Baghdad said USA army forces have been walking around the city accompanied by the Iraqi army, Al-Khaleej Online reported. "We might as well keep it", he said, referring to the Ain al-Asad airbase in western Iraq that he visited in December previous year.

Of U.S. troop activities, Votel said they are focused on liberating remaining ISIS territory in Syria, along the Iraq border-but affirmed U.S. troops are not "kicking in doors", but supplying artillery and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support.

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned shortly after Trump's announcement, followed soon after by Brett McGurk, the US envoy to the global coalition fighting Islamic State. ISIS would depict a USA pullout from Syria as a win in its global propaganda outlets. In a tweet that same day, President Donald Trump declared, "We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump presidency".

"We think that building strong relations with the USA for the benefit of the two peoples is important", said a senior Iraqi diplomat, who requested anonymity to speak frankly on a sensitive subject.

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