UK urges Baghdad to allow its troops to continue ‘vital work’ as Iraqi parliament calls for withdrawal of all foreign forces
The UK government has expressed opposition to an Iraqi resolution demanding the expulsion of foreign troops, arguing that British soldiers play a critical security role in the country.
The removal of foreign military forces would prevent the US-led coalition from continuing its “vital work” countering Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in Iraq, a UK government spokesman argued.
Iraq’s parliament passed the motion on Sunday following the US-ordered assassination of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, in Baghdad. The resolution is non-binding and has not yet been adopted as an official law.
The UK currently has an estimated 400 troops stationed in Iraq.
London has defended President Donald Trump’s decision to use a targeted drone strike to kill Soleimani, while also calling for restraint from both sides.Also on rt.com Trump threatens Iraq with ‘very big sanctions’ unless it pays back BILLIONS for an airbase if US troops are forced to withdraw
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab reportedly told Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi that the Iranian general was a “regional menace,” and said the United States had the “right of self-defense”.
Trump has said US troops will not leave Iraq until Baghdad compensates Washington for military bases it has built since the start of the 2003 invasion. He vowed to impose crippling sanctions on Iraq if the US military is forced to leave on unfriendly terms.
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