News ID: 279145
Published: 0216 GMT January 06, 2021

PM: Only hundreds of US troops to remain in Iraq

PM: Only hundreds of US troops to remain in Iraq
REUTERS

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said only hundreds of US troops would remain in Iraq after the withdrawal of half of them from the country.

Kadhimi said, during a televised speech on the eve of the centenary of the Iraqi Army Day, the US troops' withdrawal came due to "the ongoing strategic dialogue between Iraq and the United States that yield in the withdrawal of batches of US troops during the past months. The withdrawal of more than half of them will complete in the coming days."

"Only hundreds of them will remain, for cooperation in the fields of training, rehabilitation, armament, and technical support (for Iraqi forces)," Kadhimi said, according to Xinhua.

The withdrawal of the US forces "was based on the readiness of the Iraqi forces to protect the land of Iraq and preserve the dignity of its people," he said.

The premier also said that Iraq will not be an arena for regional or international conflicts and will not allow its lands to be used to settle scores between countries.

"The Iraqi Army is ready to fulfill its duty, and on the day of our brave army, we announce that 2021 will be the year of Iraqi accomplishments at all levels," he added.

The relations between Baghdad and Washington have witnessed a tension since Jan. 3, 2020 after a US drone struck a convoy at Baghdad airport, which assassinated Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy chief of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units.

The attack was directly ordered by US President Donald Trump.

Angered by the assassinations, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill two days later, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country, Press TV wrote.

The Iraqi government has since been in talks with the American side over a framework for a pullout of foreign troops from the Arab country.

On the weekend, thousands of Iraqi mourners packed the streets leading to Baghdad’s iconic Tahrir Square, condemning the American occupiers for the assassinations and renewing the call for them to withdraw from Iraqi soil.

 

 

 

   
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