Iraqi president hits back at Trump over U.S. army presence

Iraqi president hits back at Trump over U.S. army presence

Meanwhile, the House Armed Services Committee, now under Democratic control, plans a February 6 hearing to examine US counter-terrorism operations more broadly, with testimony expected from Owen West, the Pentagon's assistant secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict, and Air Force Maj.

Salih said Monday he wants to have good relations with its neighboring countries.

Abu Jaffar al-Shabaki, the head of PMF's 30th Brigade, in a press conference Saturday said the US troops were surveying Mosul city and filming neighborhoods with video recorders.

Shortly after announcing the pullout, the US demanded Turkey guarantee the safety of the Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria when America leaves the region.

Ridwan al-Anzi, the deputy head of PMF's Nineveh Operations, claimed the USA troops ended their survey operation after the PMF warned them and blocked the road leading into the Presidential Palace area.

Target on their backs: With his comments, the president has telegraphed to U.S. foes that theAmerican troop presence at Al-Asad could be used to interdict Iranian movement in the region.

Members of Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces demonstrate their skills during a military exercise at a graduation ceremony in Basra, Iraq Jan. 31, 2019.

There are about 5,000 US troops still in Iraq.

He said USA -backed Kurdish forces will proceed cautiously in that last fight given the number of civilians in the area as well as the large number of "extreme explosive hazards".

Washington has had troops in Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.

The amendment acknowledged progress against Daesh and al Qaeda in Syria and Afghanistan but warned that "a precipitous withdrawal" could destabilize the region and create a vacuum that could be filled by Iran or Russian Federation.

Reports surfaced late a year ago saying that the Trump administration was considering withdrawing half of the 14,000 USA troops deployed to Afghanistan.

"The recent remarks about the use of American military bases in Iraq to target neighboring countries contradicts with the Iraqi constitution and agreements signed with the U.S.", Iraqi Al-Taghier TV channel quoted Abadi's media office as saying in a statement on Monday.

American forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011, but returned in 2014 to help tackle the Daesh terror group, which had taken control of a significant portion of the country.

The report does not name President Donald Trump directly but does - on multiple occasions - refer to the plan to withdraw America's 2,000 boots on the ground from region.

In response, Iraqi President Barham Salih said today that Trump did not ask Iraq's permission for United States troops stationed there to "watch Iran".

"It's time", he said in the interview with CBS's Face the Nation.

United States President Donald Trump says he wants American forces to stay in Iraq in order to keep an eye on Iran. We have an unbelievable and expensive military base built in Iraq.

The militants' ability to quickly reconstitute raises questions about pulling the troops out and trying to keep up the pressure from afar.

"I want to be able to watch Iran", he said.

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