Iraqi parliament approves draft bill to end US troop presence in Iraq
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s council of representatives held an extraordinary session on Sunday to vote on a resolution for the Iraqi government to expel American and foreign military troops in Iraq.
The parliamentary session began on Sunday afternoon, with 168 parliament members participating without the presence of Kurds and Sunni Arabs.
The session was held upon the request of Shia parliament members.
Lawmakers approved a draft bill to push US troops out of Iraq, and a parliamentary session to vote on the bill was scheduled for Saturday (Jan.11).
The resolution includes a decision to cancel any request for military assistance from the International Coalition against the Islamic State, to end the presence of foreign troops on Iraqi soil, to prevent foreign forces using Iraqi airspace, to submit a formal complaint to the United Nations and the Security Council against the US, and to restrict the military and arms to the state only, a statement following the end of the session read.
The development comes after an American drone killed the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force Qasim Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the leader of the Tehran-aligned Kata’ib Hizbollah militia in Iraq.
Iraqi officials have roundly condemned the US strike, which took place just outside the Baghdad International Airport after Soleimani met with Muhandis. Days earlier, Iraqi officials had condemned militiamen and supporters after they attempted to storm the US embassy in the Iraqi capital, torching parts of it.
Outgoing Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi attended the parliament session on Sunday, where he expressed his grief at the loss of the two leaders. “The only way for foreign forces to remain in Iraq is to train Iraqi forces and nothing further,” the Iraqi prime minister said.
Abdul Mahdi also explained that the US-Iran struggle has affected Iraq and that Baghdad has alerted Washington about the reactions of conducting military attacks in Iraq.
“We have constantly requested the US not to violate Iraq’s sovereignty,” he stated. “It is in the interest of both Iraq and America to end the US’ military presence in Iraq.”
“The Iraqi government needs to implement a time frame to reduce foreign troops in Iraq,” Abdul Mahdi added.
Caught in the middle of two nations with which they must deal, many officials from both the federal government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Region have called for restraint and calm, stressing that Iraq must not be an arena for settling international scores.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany