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    Trump Threatens To Cut Off Iraq's Access To Central Reserve Bank

    The US warned that Iraq's access to its main account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (above) could be shut off if the Iraqi government asks American troops to leave
    The Trump administration has threatened to shut off Iraq's access to a key central banking account if U.S. troops are forced to with drawn from the country, according to a new report. The State Department warned that Iraq's access to its main account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York could be shut off if the Iraqi government asks American troops to leave, Iraqi officials told the Wall Street Journal. The account is used to collect revenue from Iraq's overseas oil sales, and shutting off access to it could quickly cripple the country's economy and its government's ability to provide basic services. The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com on Saturday. The U.S. currently has some 5,300 troops in Iraq.

    On Sunday, furious members of Iraq's parliament voted on a non-binding resolution urging the country's prime minister to work toward the expulsion of U.S. troops. Iraqi Shiite factions, which dominate the parliament's ruling coalition, were outraged over the US drone strike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad International Airport on January 3. Following the vote, President Donald Trump threatened to impose sanctions against Iraq if the U.S. was forced to withdraw its troops.

    US soldiers standing next to FGM-148 Javelin misssile in the city of Mosul in a file photo. The U.S. currently has over 5,300 troops in Iraq.
    Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has already transmitted his request to Washington to work together on a road map for troop withdrawal, but was bluntly rebuffed on Friday by the State Department, which said the two sides should instead talk about how to 'recommit' to their partnership. Abdul-Mahdi asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to 'send delegates to Iraq to prepare a mechanism' to carry out the Iraqi Parliament´s resolution on withdrawing foreign troops, according to the statement.

    'The prime minister said American forces had entered Iraq and drones are flying in its airspace without permission from Iraqi authorities, and this was a violation of the bilateral agreements,' the statement added. Abdul-Mahdi signaled he was standing by the push for U.S. forces to leave despite signs of de-escalation by Tehran and Washington after Iran retaliated for Soleimani's death by firing missiles that hit two Iraqi bases where American troops are based but caused no casualties.

    Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi (above) has already transmitted his request to Washington to work together on a road map for troop withdrawal
    Iraqis feel furious and helpless at being caught in the middle of the fighting. Abdul-Mahdi has said he rejects all violations of Iraqi sovereignty, including both the Iranian and U.S. strikes. The State Department flatly dismissed Abdul-Mahdi's request, saying U.S. troops are crucial for the fight against the Islamic State group and it would not discuss removing them.

    'The prime minister said American forces had entered Iraq and drones are flying in its airspace without permission from Iraqi authorities, and this was a violation of the bilateral agreements,' the statement added. Abdul-Mahdi signaled he was standing by the push for U.S. forces to leave despite signs of de-escalation by Tehran and Washington after Iran retaliated for Soleimani's death by firing missiles that hit two Iraqi bases where American troops are based but caused no casualties.

    Iraqis feel furious and helpless at being caught in the middle of the fighting. Abdul-Mahdi has said he rejects all violations of Iraqi sovereignty, including both the Iranian and U.S. strikes. The State Department flatly dismissed Abdul-Mahdi's request, saying U.S. troops are crucial for the fight against the Islamic State group and it would not discuss removing them.

    Pompeo indicated Friday the troops would remain, adding that the U.S. would continue its mission to help train Iraqi security forces and counter the Islamic State group. 'We are happy to continue the conversation with the Iraqis about what the right structure is,' Pompeo said at the White House during an unrelated appearance. 'Our mission set there is very clear. We've been there to perform a training mission to help the Iraqi security forces be successful and to continue the campaign against ISIS, to continue the counter-Daesh campaign,' he said, using alternate acronyms for the militant group.

    'We're going to continue that mission but, as times change and we get to a place where we can deliver upon what I believe and what the president believes is our right structure with fewer resources dedicated to that mission, we will do so,' Pompeo said.

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