Iraqi officials on Monday backed away from their threat to expel U.S. troops following the killing of Iranian terrorist mastermind Gen. Qasem Soleimani and some important Iraqi Shiite militia leaders.
The tone in Baghdad appears to have changed after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened sanctions against Iraq and a draft letter announcing complete U.S. withdrawal of forces accidentally leaked.
“The U.S. president’s threats to impose sanctions on Iraq that will ‘make Iranian sanctions seem somewhat tame’ led some Iraqi MPs to urge a softening of the parliament’s position. One Iraqi MP said Trump’s unpredictability made such a move risky when US air support in particular might still be needed to prevent a resurgence of Islamic State,” the UK Guardian reported.
This led to (theoretically former, but still acting) Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi walking back his demand for “urgent measures” to expel American forces. On Monday, his office released a statement stressing “the importance of mutual cooperation on implementing the withdrawal of foreign troops, in line with the Iraqi parliament’s resolution, and to set relations with the United States on a proper foundation.”
Abdul-Mahdi’s statement also emphasized “how dangerous the situation is right now and its potential consequences” and declared Iraq will do all it can to “prevent the descent into open war.” – READ MORE