Iraqi Lawmakers Vote to Expel U.S. Military Forces, Foreign Troops

A group of young Turks stage an anti-US protest outside the Parliament before a visit by US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in Ankara, Turkey, Frday, Oct. 21, 2016. Carter met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other top leaders and defense officials in Ankara amid escalating tensions between Turkey …
AP/Burhan Ozbilici

Iraqi MPs passed a resolution Sunday calling for all foreign troops to leave the country after the U.S. eliminated top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad airport last week.

Parliament in Baghdad also called for a ban on foreign forces using Iraqi land, airspace or water for any reason.

The U.S. has some 5,000 military personnel in Iraq, mainly as advisers, while the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and a host of other countries also contribute military to help train local Iraqi forces.

“The government commits to revoke its request for assistance from the international coalition fighting Islamic State due to the end of military operations in Iraq and the achievement of victory,” the resolution read.

“The Iraqi government must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi had earlier called on parliament to end foreign troop presence.

Speaking at the beginning of the session, Abdul Mahdi said he recommended parliament take urgent measures to remove foreign troops, a move he said was in the interest of both Iraq and the United States, Reuters reported.

“Despite the internal and external difficulties that we might face, it remains best for Iraq on principle and practically,” Abdul Mahdi told parliament.

Abdul Mahdi called the U.S. killing of Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis a political assassination, according to Reuters.

The resolution before the parliament on Sunday specifically calls for ending an agreement in which Washington sent troops to Iraq more than four years ago to help in the fight against the Islamic State group.

The resolution is backed by most Shiite members of parliament, who hold a majority of seats.

AFP contributed to this story

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