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Iraq’s prime minister wants immediate withdrawal of US forces

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani attends a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Prime Minister Mohammad Shia al-Sudani says Iraq wants the immediate withdrawal of the US-led foreign forces from his country due to their destabilizing activities.

The Iraqi prime minister made the demand during a televised event at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday.

Sudani said the “end of the US-led coalition was a necessity for the security and stability of Iraq.”

“It is also a necessity for preserving constructive bilateral relations between Iraq and the coalition countries.”

The prime minister said it was also necessary to “immediately begin a dialogue, to reach an understanding and a timetable regarding the end of the mission of international advisers.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Sudani lauded sacrifices made by the Iraqi military forces in the fight against terrorism.

Longstanding calls by Iraqi factions for the US-led coalition’s departure have gained steam in the wake of a series of US strikes on Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), which are part of Iraq’s security forces.

Iraq has condemned the US strikes, not least a recent attack against a senior PMU commander in the heart of Baghdad.

Senior officials in Baghdad says only an end to Israel’s genocidal campaign in the besieged Gaza Strip would stop the risk of a regional escalation.

Iraq says Israel’s mass killing and displacement of the Palestinians is a “textbook example of genocide.”.

Iraq’s Islamic Resistance, an umbrella group of anti-US armed groups in the country, has conducted dozens of attacks on US bases in support of Gaza’s resistance.

According to the Pentagon, US military forces have come under attack at least 118 times in Iraq and Syria since the Israeli onslaught on Gaza began last October.

The US maintains some 2,500 troops in Iraq under the pretext of fighting the Daesh terrorist group, which in 2014 seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria.

Daesh was defeated when in November 2017, then commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani declared the end of the terrorist group’s domination of Muslim lands.

In 2020, Iraq's parliament voted for the departure of US forces. Days earlier, General Soleimani and deputy PMU commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis had been assassinated in a cowardly drone strike ordered by then President Donald Trump of the United States outside the Baghdad airport.

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