Iraq should brace for sanctions that will make the ones placed on Iran look weak in comparison if it kicks out the US troops without first covering the costs for an airbase, President Donald Trump said.
“We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build, long before my time. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on Sunday, RT reported.
The punitive measures that the US is ready to slap on its supposed ally in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (known as ISIL, ISIS or Daesh) will be even harsher than the crippling sanctions already in effect against Tehran, the American president stated.
“If they do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame,” he added.
Trump’s warning to Iraq comes after Iraqi MPs passed a non-binding resolution, championed by the country’s caretaker prime minister, asking the Iraqi government to expel foreign troops by cancelling a request for military assistance from the US-led coalition.
The resolution, adopted earlier on Sunday, envisions that some foreign troops might stay in Iraq for training purposes, but the number of foreign instructors deemed necessary should be reported back by the Iraqi authorities.