Iraqi Parliament votes for expulsion of United States troops

Monday, January 6, 2020

Yesterday, the Parliament of Iraq voted on a resolution to expel United States troops from the country. The move follows the United States' killing of Qasem Soleimani in an airstrike last week.

The vote, which is not binding, was boycotted by both Kurdish and Sunni Members of Parliament. The resolution still awaited approval by the Iraqi government. NPR reported Adil Abdul-Mahdi, the caretaker Prime Minister, recommended the United States troops in Iraq withdraw.

The United States had not, as of yesterday, announced any plans to remove the troops, which are there with an international coalition to counter the Islamic State (ISIS). Following the vote, a United States Department of State spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus, indicated the United States was disappointed by the Parliament's decision: "While we await further clarification on the legal nature and impact of today's resolution," he said, "we strongly urge Iraqi leaders to reconsider the importance of the ongoing economic and security relationship between the two countries and the continued presence of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS".

The coalition came to Iraq to fight ISIS after the group took over about a third of the country. The Iraqi government has since declared victory, but the U.S. troops have remained in Iraq to prevent ISIS from gaining ground again.

The strike took place in Iraq, at Baghdad International Airport. The Foreign Ministry of Iraq characterized the attack as "a serious violation of Iraqi sovereignty".


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