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Tillerson: US could stay in Iraq to fight ISIS, wanted or not

Tillerson: US could stay in Iraq to fight ISIS, wanted or not
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Monday night that American forces would hypothetically stay in Iraq in order to defeat ISISgroup, even if the government in Baghdad requests the US leave, Defense News reported on Tuesday.
Tillerson, appearing with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, indicated American forces have the right to stay in Iraq under the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), a long-standing justification for military action around the globe, until the fight against ISIS is concluded.
The statement came up in response to a question from Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., who asked “If US forces are told to leave, will we depart Iraq or will be stay uninvited as our forces are doing in Syria, and under what legal authority will they remain?”
Responded Tillerson: “We will remain in Iraq until ISIS is defeated and we are confident that ISIS has been defeated.”
When Udall pushed again on what legal authority that would occur, Tillerson responded by citing the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs.
However, the secretary stressed that “we are there also at the invitation of the Iraqi government and that [Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi] has given to me no indication he is in any particular hurry to have us depart.”
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