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Germany: If int'l troops leave Iraq, Daesh could return

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warns Iraq could turn into breeding ground for terrorism

Laith al-Jounadi   | 13.01.2020
Germany: If int'l troops leave Iraq, Daesh could return

AMMAN, Jordan

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned Monday that Daesh/ISIS terror group may return to Iraq in case of the withdrawal of coalition forces from the country. 

"The troop withdrawal from Iraq will make it a fertile ground for terrorism and attacks will hit the region and Europe," he said at a press conference with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi in Amman.

Iraq has been roiled by protests since October against deep-seated corruption and living condition amid calls for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country.

As for tensions between the U.S. and Iran, Maas said, "If Iran wants to de-escalate, then it must stop agitation in its region, which also applies to Iraq".

Tension soared earlier this month after the U.S. assassinated Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in a drone attack in Iraq. Tehran retaliated with firing a dozen ballistic missiles at Iraqi airbases housing U.S. troops.

The top German minister also reiterated the right of the Iranian people to express their opinions in peaceful means.

Safadi, for his part, said chaos in Libya would be a magnet to terrorists.

Earlier Monday, a German government spokesman said Berlin will host an international conference on Jan. 19 on the conflict in Libya.

On Tuesday, Jordanian King Abdullah II will start a European tour, which will mainly tackle current regional developments.

* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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