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Do Iraq's political blocs really want to expel foreign troops?

us forces

All political blocs favor keeping the foreign troops inside the country, Naseem Abdullah, a Fatah Alliance leader, said on Thursday, adding that what these blocs tell media is not their real opinion.

"I do not think there is a real desire from the political blocs to remove the foreign forces from Iraq," Abdullah said, adding that political blocs adopt opinions when they talk to media, which are different than their real opinion.

The Iraqi parliament last year called on the federal government to set a timetable that obliges foreign troops, which have contributed to eliminating ISIS in Iraq, to leave the country.

Blocs' public stance

Earlier in April, MP Fadel al-Fatlawi of the Fatah Alliance said that the parliament will host the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi to get information about the foreign troops inside Iraq.

According to Fatlawi, the parliament wants to know about the number of foreign troops inside the Iraqi territory and the nature of their work.

"All the political blocs agreed on one vision: the need to remove foreign forces from Iraq and preserve national sovereignty, but we must know the number of foreign forces and the nature of their work so that the parliament can legislate the law," Fatlawi said in a press statement.

Regarding the Iraqi-Syrian border, Fatlawi said it is guarded by Iraqi forces and is fully secured after many terrorist attacks have been foiled.

Foreign troops' presence desirable?

Saairun Alliance MP Alaa al-Rubaie has reiterated his party's rejection of the foreign military presence inside Iraq, noting that the draft law on the removal of foreign troops will be introduced to the parliament in the new legislative term early next month.

Rubaie said that he and other MPs have summoned Abd al-Mahdi, who also serves as the country's commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He added that they have also submitted a request for a special session to voice rejection for the presence of foreign troops inside Iraq.

He said that 55 signatures have been gathered to introduce the draft law in the next session, adding that most of the political blocs within the parliament reject the US military presence inside Iraq.

The top Pentagon official assured Iraqi leaders earlier that the US will stick to its limited military role in Iraq, a message aimed at recent talks by some Iraqi politicians of forcing a US troop withdrawal, ABC News reported.

Pat Shanahan, the acting secretary of defense, said that in talks with Abd al-Mahdi, he stressed US respect for Iraqi sovereignty, an issue that has become a hot-button topic among Iraqis since President Donald Trump suggested using Iraq as a base for monitoring neighboring Iran and for potential attacks against remaining elements of the ISIS group in Syria.

 

Last Modified: Friday، 26 April 2019 12:28 AM
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