Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi requested the U.S. make plans to withdraw forces from the country Friday, but the U.S. State Department has unequivocally refused.
Abdul-Mahdi told reporters he had called Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking the U.S. to send a delegation to plan for a U.S. withdrawal, NBC News reported. Pompeo quickly pushed back on that idea, however, saying not only will the U.S. remain in Iraq, but Iraq will have to start paying more for them to stay. (RELATED: Iran’s Supreme Leader In Tears At Funeral For Soleimani)
JUST IN: @StateDept pushes back after Iraq asks Pompeo to send delegation to discuss US withdrawal from Iraq.
Instead the US wants the exact opposite: For Iraq to pay more for the US to remain
— Josh Lederman (@JoshNBCNews) January 10, 2020
The prime minister’s request comes nearly a week after the Iraqi parliament voted to end the U.S. military’s deployment in the country. (RELATED: Trump: Democrats Would Have Leaked Soleimani Action ‘To The Fake News’)
Instigating the move was the U.S. drone strike on Iranian Gen. and known terrorist Qasem Soleimani at the Baghdad airport. Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s Quds Force, was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans and thousands of others.
Trump’s administration argues Soleimani was actively involved in plotting further attacks on America and our allies, but his Democratic critics claim the attack was a dangerous escalation that could drag the U.S. into open conflict in the Middle East.