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  • Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi attends an Iraqi parliament session in Baghdad, Iraq January 5, 2020.

    Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi attends an Iraqi parliament session in Baghdad, Iraq January 5, 2020.

Published 5 January 2020

“The Iraqi government must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, air space or water for any reason."

The Iraqi Parliament convened on Sunday to vote on a resolution that called for the expulsion of the U.S. Armed Forces from the country. The resolution, which was sponsored by dozens of ministers, was made in response to the U.S.' assassination of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani.

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During the parliamentary session, the ministers voted to pass the resolution that seeks to end the foreign troop presence inside the country. 

“The Iraqi government must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, air space or water for any reason,” the statement following the vote read.

While such resolutions are not binding on the government, this one is likely to be heeded: Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdihad earlier called on parliament to end foreign troop presence as soon as possible.

Some 5,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq, most in an advisory role.These troops are based in several parts of the country, including the Al-Anbar and Nineveh provinces that border neighboring Syria.

The U.S. has used these bases in Nineveh and Al-Anbar to reinforce and resupply their forces inside of Syria as they continue operations against the Islamic State. 

In a war of words between Iran and the United States, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would target any Iranian decision-makers it chose if there were further attacks on U.S. interests by Iranian forces or their proxies.

Qassem Soleimani was killed on Friday in a U.S. drone strike on his convoy at Baghdad airport, an attack that carried U.S.-Iranian hostilities into uncharted waters and stoked concern about a major conflagration.

As Washington and Tehran, longtime foes, traded threats and counter-threats, the European Union, Britain and Oman urged them to make diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis.

Pompeo told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Washington was watching very closely what took place in the Iraqi parliament. He did not say whether the United States would remove its troops from Iraq if requested by the Iraqi government.

“It is the United States that is prepared to help the Iraqi people get what it is they deserve and continue our mission there to take down terrorism from (Islamic State militants) and others in the region,” Pompeo said in the interview. “That is in defense of the Iraqi people and is good for America, too.”

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