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Iraq PM Mahdi meets US army commander over withdrawal of foreign forces

More than 5,000 US troops have been deployed in Iraq to support the Iraqi forces in the battles against Islamic State militants.

SNS | New Delhi |

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Tuesday met with the visiting commander of the United States Central Command over the withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq.

During Abdul Mahdi’s meeting with Kenneth F. McKenzie, they discussed the Iraqi parliament resolution to withdraw foreign forces, “which would contribute to maintaining security and stability of Iraq,” according to a statement by the prime minister’s media office.

The two also discussed cooperation in combating terrorism, and the need to keep Iraq away from the conflict of other countries or to use its territories to attack other countries.

For his part, McKenzie expressed the US keenness to continue cooperation with Iraq against terrorism, support the capabilities and training of its forces, and enhance Iraq’s security and stability.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei swiftly pledged to take “severe revenge” for Soleimani’s assassination.

Earlier, Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at two Iraqi bases that house US forces. US and Iraqi officials said there were no casualties.

The Iranian attack came after a US drone attacked on January 3 a convoy at Baghdad International Airport, killing Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of Iraq’s paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces.

More than 5,000 US troops have been deployed in Iraq to support the Iraqi forces in the battles against Islamic State militants.

On January 5, the Iraqi parliament passed a resolution requiring the government to end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq, just two days after a US drone strike on a convoy near Baghdad International Airport, which killed Qassem Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of Iraq’s paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces.

More than 5,000 US troops are deployed in Iraq to support the Iraqi forces in the battles against the Islamic State militants, mainly providing training and advising to the Iraqi forces.

(With inputs from agency)