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Demands to accelerate US troops' expulsion from Iraq

US troops in Iraq

A cleric of the Sadrist movement, Dhea al-Shouki called on the parliament to take serious steps to end the US presence in Iraq and ensure Iraq's full sovereignty.

"The Iraqi Council of Representatives should take all necessary measures to meet this important vital demand," Shouki said in his sermon from the Great Mosque of Kufa.

Shouki also called on the parliament to summon the Iraqi government to clarify the reasons behind the "suspicious" deployment of the US troops in different Iraqi provinces and the increase in numbers of US troops during the past months.

Moreover, Fatah Alliance MP Hussein al-Yasari said the parliament will vote on a resolution enforces the government to abolish the strategic framework agreement and to expel US forces from Iraq.

Yasari said in a press statement there is a consensus on the removal of US forces from the country, given that Washington has breached all the articles of the agreement.

He added that US forces would not risk to remain in Iraq in case the parliament approved expelling them, as they would not resort to use force.

Trump's statements

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

Trump said, “This way, if somebody starts looking for nuclear weapons, we will know of it before they do it.”

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

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi said he disagrees with Trump's remarks concerning,  urging the US President to withdraw his statement.

During his weekly conference, Abd al-Mahdi said that Iraq must not be used by one state against another state or become part of a battle between two countries.

Abd al-Mahdi reiterated his denial of the presence of US military bases in Iraq, saying that US forces exist in the country to train the Iraqi army personnel.

IMIS, Hezbollah

The pro-Iran IMIS and Hezbollah Brigades officials in Iraq have threatened the US over the past few months, especially after Trump's remarks.

Spokesperson for Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades Mohamed Mohiy, who fight on the same side as the regime forces in Syria and who have a close relationship with Iran, said if the US stays, “every Iraqi will have the legitimate right to resist American soldiers with any and all tools at their disposal”.

Mohiy said they want to give Iraqi lawmakers a chance to draw up a timeline for the US to withdraw before they launch armed resistance against its soldiers.

He spoke about the initiative to push a proposal in the Iraqi Parliament for US soldiers to leave the country and said the proposal will be “a first step” but they estimate that the US “will stand against the will of the people again” and try to remain in Iraq.

Mohiy said in such a case, both the Hezbollah Brigades and other forces would “go into the second phase” and pick up arms against the US.

Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq leader Qais al-Khazali, who had issued threatening statements before regarding US forces to leave Iraq, spoke after Mohiy's statements, saying that Trump doesn’t understand that Iraq is a strong country now, but if he insists, he can be sure that this will cost him dearly.

US soldiers had withdrawn from Iraq in 2011, but returned as part of the coalition against ISIS in 2014.

Last Modified: Saturday، 16 February 2019 01:30 AM