Iraqi Lawmakers Plan to Take ‘New Position’ Vis-à-vis US if Troop Withdrawal Agreement Not Reached

Middle East

Iraq’s parliament issued a resolution requesting the complete withdrawal of all foreign forces from their nation in the wake of the January 2020 US assassination of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad. The Trump administration began drawing down forces in March 2020. The Biden administration has sought to freeze the withdrawal.

Iraqi lawmakers will take a “new position” vis-à-vis the United States if upcoming talks do not lead to a withdrawal of US forces from their country, Kati al-Rikabi, a member of the parliament’s security and defence committee, has indicated.

The lawmaker recalled that Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi recently formed a committee of senior officials, including the foreign minister and the chief of staff of the Iraqi army, as well as the director of the prime minister’s office, tasking them with scheduling the exit of all foreign forces. This group will play a “major” role in the strategic dialogue, al-Rikabi indicated.

Commenting on possible resistance by the American side, the lawmaker suggested that the statements of US officials have “fluctuated” persistently since the day Iraq’s parliament issued its resolution demanding withdrawal.

“Some of them said that a third of forces would remain, and some said there was no interest in a continued US presence in Iraq, especially of strike forces. There has been no really firm statement from any US…

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