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Secret negotiations to confront US forces in Iraq 'politically': Qaddo

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Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi has agreed with Iran-backed IMIS figures and political powers to confront the US presence in Iraq politically and not militarily, claimed Fatah Alliance's Hanin al-Qaddo.

Parties of the secret deal said that military confrontation with the US will not serve the interest of the Iraqi people and will harm the security of the country, Qaddo said.

There are legislative and executive ways to keep only a few of these forces inside Iraq to train Iraqi army personnel or to drive them out completely by signing a new agreement, Qaddo added.

Head of the Fatah Alliance Hadi al-Amiri has an important and influential control over IMIS and is able to prevent escalation and calm its militias, Qaddo said.

IMIS media accounts and Iran's state-backed news channel Press TV released a video allegedly showing the IMIS militia stopping a US patrol. The footage showed armored vehicles with IMIS green flags blocking a road as armed men in military uniform, claimed to be US troops, passed by, Voice of America reported.

The US-led coalition fighting against ISIS in Syria and Iraq denied Monday that it faced a head-to-head encounter with IMIS in Nineveh province.

"The patrol referenced was routine and there was no confrontation," Col. Sean Ryan, a spokesperson for the US-led coalition, told VOA in an email.

"The coalition is here at the invitation of the Iraqi government and this was coordinated with the Iraqi Security Forces," he said.

The coalition spokesperson did not disclose more information about the operation.

US not to withdraw from Iraq

Iran's Ambassador to Iraq Iraj Masjedi said on Monday that Washington has to withdraw its forces from Iraq, adding that "security and stability in Iraq is [achieved] by the role of the Iraqi armed forces."

This came on the sidelines of the Al-Rafidain Center for Dialogue Forum for 2019 held in Baghdad.

As US President Donald Trump told CBS that his administration would keep US troops in Iraq to "watch Iran," Iraq's President Barham Salih said that "the presence of US troops in Iraq is part of an agreement to support Iraqi forces in the fight against terror."

However, Salih slammed the US president's remarks, saying that "Trump did not ask for our permission to watch Iran. Do not burden Iraq with issues that don't represent a priority to it."

On Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said despite progress in fighting ISIS in Iraq, the group retained a strong presence in that country and was trying to mount a clandestine insurgency.

“The coalition must continue to support the government of Iraq in its efforts to secure the liberated areas of that country,” Pompeo said. “Mr. Foreign Minister, we’re with you,” he told Mohamed al-Hakim, Iraq's Foreign Minister.

Last Modified: Thursday، 07 February 2019 11:31 PM