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Iraq notifies US on demand for foreign troop pullout

Iraqi caretaker prime minister emphasizes necessity to implement withdrawal of foreign forces

Ibrahim Salih, Mahmoud Mohamed Barakat Ramadan Ibrahim   | 06.01.2020
Iraq notifies US on demand for foreign troop pullout

BAGHDAD

Iraq's caretaker premier notified the U.S. envoy to the country on Monday on a recent decision by Iraqi legislators for the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq.

Adel Abdul Mahdi received Matthew Tueller at his office on Monday to discuss recent developments in the country, according to a statement released by his office.

The prime minister emphasized the necessity of joint action to "implement the withdrawal of foreign forces in accordance with the decision of the Iraqi parliament."

Abdul Mahdi pointed out to the "seriousness of the current situation and its possible repercussions", stressing that Baghdad was making "every effort" to prevent a "slide into an open war".

The Iraqi parliament on Sunday voted on a motion to expel U.S. troops from the country.

In an extraordinary session, lawmakers unanimously decided to demand U.S. and foreign troops leave the country.

The move came after Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards' elite Quds Force, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq on Friday.

His death marked a dramatic escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran, which have often been at a fever pitch since U.S. President Donald Trump chose in 2018 to unilaterally withdraw Washington from a 2015 nuclear pact world powers struck with Tehran.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who gave Soleimani the country's highest honor last year, vowed "severe retaliation" in response to his killing.

The Pentagon accused Soleimani of plotting the embassy attack and planning to carry out additional attacks on U.S. diplomats and service members in Iraq and the region.

* Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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