Head of Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) Nechirvan Barzani said Tuesday that the presence of the US-led coalition troops in Iraq is important to prevent the threat of terrorism in the country.
Barzani's remarks came after a meeting with US Congressman John Garamendi in Erbil, according to the president’s office, Anadolu News Agency reported.
Barzani and the visiting delegation, along with Garamendi, emphasized the importance of the US and the international coalition troops, and said the troops should remain in Iraq against the risk of re-emergence of terror, the statement said.
Handling the post-ISIS process, sending the internally displaced people back to their homelands and US-Iraq cooperation in the reconstruction of damaged areas during the conflict were also discussed.
The US military presence has been a hot issue in Iraq. Some parties want the US removed from the country and even 55 Iraqi lawmakers tabled a motion to the parliament for a decision.
The US occupied Iraq in 2003 with 165,000 troops until December 2011, after which then-US President Barack Obama ordered all troops withdrawn from Iraq.
However, after the emergence of ISIS terrorist organization in 2014, Washington sent its troops back to Iraq in line with Iraqi then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's demand.