Complaining that Trump’s visit to the Al Asad Airbase in Anbar province violated diplomatic norms, Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) leader Qais al-Khazali said on Twitter the Iraqi parliament would respond by voting to expel the American troops stationed there.
“And if they do not leave,” he added, “we have the experience and the ability to eject them by other means, familiar to your forces when they were humiliated in 2011.”
AAH is one of two main IRGC Qods Force-backed Iraqi militias which U.S. military commanders accuses of responsibility for numerous deadly attacks on their forces during the Iraq war.
As part of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), there are currently some 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, mostly involved in training national soldiers and police, now that the Sunni jihadists of ISIS have all but been defeated.
Trump told the troops on Wednesday that while he has announced the withdrawal of 2,000 troops from Syria – where they have also been participating in the anti-ISIS OIR mission – he has no plans to end the deployment in Iraq.
While the personnel stationed in Syria would mostly go home, he said, “some will come here [to Iraq]. We’re staying.”
Trump added that the U.S. military presence in Iraq would be maintained “to prevent an ISIS resurgence and to protect U.S. interests. And also to always watch very closely over any potential re-formation of ISIS – and also to watch over Iran. We’ll be watching.”
Read more: Reddit
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