Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi has officially asked the U.S. to put a plan for a “safe withdrawal” in accordance with the country’s parliament recent decision.
The Iraqi PM made the request during a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on January 9 evening, according to an official statement by the PM’s office.
“His Excellency asked the U.S. Secretary of State to send delegates to Iraq to lay down the mechanisms for implementing the Parliament’s decision to withdraw [U.S.] forces safely from Iraq … Iraq is keen to keep the best relations with its neighbors and friends in the international community,” the statement reads.
The Iraqi’s parliament passed a historical resolution demanding the government to put an end to the U.S. military presence in the country earlier this month in the wake of the assassination of Iran’s Quds Force commander Qassim Soleimani and senior Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
The Department of States commented on Abul-Mahdi’s request in a statement, saying that the U.S. will maintain its military presence in Iraq for several reasons including the war on ISIS.
“At this time, any delegation sent to Iraq would be dedicated to discussing how to best recommit to our strategic partnership—not to discuss troop withdrawal, but our right, appropriate force posture in the Middle East,” the Department of State said.
U.S. President Donald Trump had threatened Iraq with “very big sanctions” if his troops are expelled from the country.
This statement indicates that the U.S. is not willing to respect the decision of the Iraqi Parliament and the Iraqi government. In fact, this is a military occupation.