U.S. intent on keeping troops in Iraq
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 1/10/20, 11:41 am
The U.S. State Department said Friday it would not consider withdrawing troops from Iraq. “Any delegation sent to Iraq would be dedicated to discussing how to best recommit to our strategic partnership—not to discuss troop withdrawal, but our right, appropriate force posture in the Middle East,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said. The Iraqi parliament on Sunday voted in favor of expelling the troops after a U.S. strike killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and senior Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said the attack infringed on the nation’s sovereignty, adding that U.S. drones in Iraqi airspace violate bilateral agreements.
What would happen if U.S. troops left Iraq? About 5,200 members of the U.S. military are stationed in Iraq, providing training and assistance in the fight against Islamic State. Their exit would likely harm efforts to clear out remnants of the terror group.
Dig deeper: Read Marvin Olasky’s Q&A with international affairs strategist George Friedman on the rising tensions in the Middle East.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.