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    Adel Abdul-Mahdi Called American Troops In Iraq To Leave

    Adel Abdul Mahdi meets the US ambassador to Iraq, Matthew Tueller, in Baghdad, Iraq. Photograph: Reuters
    Adel Abdul-Mahdi made remarks while talking to US ambassador Matthew Tueller, after Iraqi lawmakers unanimously approved a bill demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country. "The prime minister stressed the importance of mutual cooperation on implementing the withdrawal of foreign troops, in line with the Iraqi parliament's resolution, and to set relations with the United States on a proper foundation," Abdul-Mahdi’s office said in a statement on Monday.

    "He stressed how dangerous the situation is right now and its potential consequences, adding that Iraq is doing everything it can to prevent the descent into open war." On Monday, Abdul-Mahdi also spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the Iraqi parliament resolution calling on all foreign troops to leave the country. "The German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her support for Iraq's security and stability, and highlighted the importance of continued cooperation between Iraq and European Union member states over fighting terrorism," his office said. Sunday's parliamentary vote was held in response to Washington's Friday airstrikes which assassinated Iran's Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and the second-in-command of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

    The vote came as many Iraqi figures and parliamentary factions have been long demanding the withdrawal of US troops from the country, specifically following a series of unclaimed airstrikes on PMU forces. Separately on Sunday, Iraq said it has lodged a formal complaint to the UN chief and the UN Security Council over the US assassination of General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. According to the Iraqi Foreign Ministry statement, the complaint is about “American attacks and aggression on Iraqi military positions and the assassination of Iraqi and allied high-level military commanders on Iraqi soil.” The assassination was “a dangerous breach of Iraqi sovereignty and of the terms of US presence in Iraq,” the ministry added.

    The US, backed by Britain, invaded Iraq in 2003 claiming that the former regime of Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. No such weapons, however, were ever found. The invaders withdrew from Iraq, after nearly nine years of a military campaign that cost tens of thousands of Iraqi lives. A US-led military coalition, however, returned to the Arab country in 2014, when the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group unleashed a campaign of destruction there. Widespread reports said the Washington-led operations largely spared the terrorists and led, instead, to civilian deaths and inflicted damage on the Iraqi infrastructure.

    Iraq’s army troops, backed by volunteer PMU forces, managed to liberate all Daesh-held areas, thanks in part to effective military advisory assistance from neighboring Iran. Baghdad declared the end of the anti-Daesh campaign back in 2017. Lieutenant General Soleimani was an international figure who played a leading role in promoting security in regional countries, particularly in Iraq and Syria.

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