Iraq demands mechanism from US on troop pullout

Monitoring Desk

BAGHDAD: The Iraqi government on Friday demanded the U.S. set a mechanism to withdraw its forces from the country.

This came in a phone call between caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The two officials “discussed the recent developments and desire of various parties to avoid escalation,” the Iraqi government said in a statement.

Abdul-Mahdi asserted Iraq’s refusal to all operations that violate its sovereignty including the latest Iranian missile attack on two U.S. military bases.

He also asked the U.S. to send representatives to Iraq to set the required mechanisms to apply the recent Iraqi parliament’s motion, which called to expel U.S. troops from the country.

“The prime minister said American forces had entered Iraq and drones are flying in its airspace without permission from Iraqi authorities and this was a violation of the bilateral agreements,” the statement added.

The Iraqi parliament’s call outraged the U.S. President Trump, who refused to comply and threatened Baghdad with sanctions.

Earlier Wednesday, Iran’s IRGCs launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq. The missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases where U.S. military and coalition personnel are stationed in response to the killing of Iranian Gen. Soleimani. (AA)