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Iraqi government prepares to end presence of US-led coalition 'permanently': PM

Iraq's Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani

Iraq's Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani says his government is forming a committee to prepare arrangements for the permanent dissolution of the occupying US-led coalition's mission in the country.

Sudani made the announcement in a statement on Friday, a day after a drone strike on the headquarters of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), also known as Hashd al-Sha'abi, in eastern Baghdad killed three people, including a commander of the Nujaba resistance movement.

"Government is setting the date for the start of the bilateral committee to put arrangements to end the presence of the international coalition forces in Iraq permanently," the Iraqi prime minister's office said in the statement.

The committee was reported to include representatives from Baghdad and the occupation coalition.

"We stress our firm position in ending the existence of the international coalition after the justifications for its existence have ended," Sudani was quoted as saying in the statement.

The deadly US attack on Thursday raised the ire of Iraqi resistance groups which called on Baghdad to end the presence of the coalition in the country. A group of Iraqi lawmakers also demanded the expulsion of the US ambassador.

In a strongly-worded statement, the Iraqi premier denounced the United States for the drone strike and stressed that the “attack was a dangerous escalation and a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.”

There are roughly 2,500 American troops in Iraq and some 900 in Syria as part of, what Washington claims to be, a fighting force against Daesh. The US has maintained its presence, although, the Arab countries and their allies defeated the Takfiri terrorist group in late 2017.

According to US officials, over 118 attacks against American troops in Iraq and Syria have been reported since mid-October as anti-US sentiments are running high across the region over Washington’s firm support for the Israeli onslaught against Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Iraqi resistance forces have targeted major US-occupied military bases in Syria and Iraq, warning the United States against funding and supporting Israeli war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza.

Washington has also vetoed United Nations Security Council resolutions that called on the occupying regime to cease its aggression.

The Israeli aggression has so far killed at least 22,438 Palestinians, most of them women and children, and wounded 57,614 others.

The Tel Aviv regime has imposed a “complete siege” on the territory, cutting off fuel, electricity, food, and water to the more than two million Palestinians living there.

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