News

World

State Department Says U.S. Will Remain in Iraq after Prime Minister Calls for Troop Withdrawal

An American soldier takes his position at the U.S. army base in Qayyara, south of Mosul October 25, 2016. (Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters)

The U.S. State Department released a statement on Friday saying American troops would remain in Iraq after Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to withdraw U.S. forces from the country.

“America is a force for good in the Middle East,” the statement from State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus read. “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.”

Earlier on Friday Prime Minister Mahdi said he had objected to the continued American presence in Iraq during a phone conversation with Pompeo.

Mahdi implored Pompeo to send a delegation “to put forward mechanisms to implement the Iraqi Parliament’s decision to ensure safe withdrawal of troops from Iraq,” according to a statement from the prime minister’s office. Mahdi also told Pompeo, “there are American forces entering Iraq and American drones in its sky without permission from the Iraqi government, and that this is violation of the agreements between the two countries.”

On Sunday the Iraqi parliament passed a non-binding resolution urging the expulsion of foreign troops from the country. However, almost half of all parliament members were not present for the vote, especially representatives for Sunni Muslim and Kurdish voters.

Legal experts cited by the Washington Post called that resolution legally “worthless.” The U.S. and Iraq are bound by a strategic agreement that cannot be overturned by the non-binding resolution adopted on Sunday.

Last week President Trump ordered the killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in a precision drone strike at Baghdad International Airport. Iran responded by firing 15 ballistic missiles at U.S. positions in Iraq, an attack which Iran later said was not intended to kill American troops.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

How Many Jeffrey Epsteins Are There?

Goodman Brown was a young, pious man, from a family of “honest men and good Christians since the days of the martyrs,” when he first discovered that the society around him was full of evil hiding in plain sight. Brown, the main character of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1835 short story “Young Goodman Brown,” ... Read More

How Many Jeffrey Epsteins Are There?

Goodman Brown was a young, pious man, from a family of “honest men and good Christians since the days of the martyrs,” when he first discovered that the society around him was full of evil hiding in plain sight. Brown, the main character of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1835 short story “Young Goodman Brown,” ... Read More
Music

The All-American Glory of Yacht Rock

They say jazz is America’s musical signature: As Ken Burns wrote, “the genius of America is improvisation, our unique experiment a profound intersection of freedom and creativity. . . . Nowhere is this more apparent than in jazz — the only art form created by Americans, an enduring and indelible expression ... Read More
Music

The All-American Glory of Yacht Rock

They say jazz is America’s musical signature: As Ken Burns wrote, “the genius of America is improvisation, our unique experiment a profound intersection of freedom and creativity. . . . Nowhere is this more apparent than in jazz — the only art form created by Americans, an enduring and indelible expression ... Read More