Iraq parliament passes resolution to expel US-led coalition troops from country

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Iraqi parliament votes to expel US troops — awaits government approval

Iraq’s parliament passed on Sunday a resolution telling the government to end the presence of foreign troops in Iraq and ensure they not use its land, air, and waters for any reason.

“The government commits to revoke its request for assistance from the international coalition fighting Islamic State due to the end of military operations in Iraq and the achievement of victory,” the resolution read.

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

Parliament resolutions, unlike laws, are non-binding to the government, but Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi had earlier called on parliament to end foreign troop presence.”

The resolution’s main aim is to get the United States to withdraw some its approximately 5,000 troops present in different parts of Iraq.

Speaking at the beginning of the session, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said he recommended parliament take urgent measures to remove foreign troops, a move he said was in the interest of both Iraq and the United States, Reuters reported.

“Despite the internal and external difficulties that we might face, it remains best for Iraq on principle and practically,” Abdul Mahdi told parliament in a speech.

Abdul Mahdi called the US killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis a political assassination, according to Reuters.

Iraq summons US envoy, complains to UN

Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi also told parliament that Soleimani was due to meet him the day he was killed and deliver a response from the Iranians to a Saudi message which could have led to a de-escalation of tensions in the region, according to Reuters news agency.

Iraqi officials have also summoned the US envoy to Iraq, Matthew Tueller, over the airstrikes.

“[The airstrikes] were a blatant violation of Iraqi sovereignty,” the Iraqi foreign ministry said in a statement, and “contradict the agreed-upon missions of the international coalition.”

Iraq’s foreign ministry also lodged an official complaint with the UN Secretary General and Security Council over the US air strikes on Sunday.

The complaint is about “American attacks and aggression on Iraqi military positions and the assassination of Iraqi and allied high level military commanders on Iraqi soil,” according to the foreign ministry.

Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi, who was in attendance in parliament on Sunday, urged parliament to end the presence of foreign troops in Iraq.

“Despite the internal and external difficulties that we might face, it remains best for Iraq on principle and practically,” he told MPs.

Abdul-Mahdi, who resigned on December 1 but has remained in place as caretaker prime minister, also urged lawmakers to vote for a new prime minister and government as soon as possible.

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