Following an American drone attack that resulted in the death of one of Iran’s top generals, the Iraq Parliament has called for the expulsion of U.S. forces from the country.
The expulsion of U.S. troops from the region could quickly cripple the ongoing battle against the Islamic State group and give birth to a resurgence of extremists.
Lawmakers have approved a resolution that requested that the Iraqi government end the agreement under which the United States sent troops to the region over four years ago to aid in the ongoing battle against ISIS.
The vote was a result of the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani at an airport in Baghdad.
Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi told lawmakers that as the result of Soleimani’s assassination the government has only two choices: He stated that it could end the presence of foreign troops in Iraq or restrict their presence to training Iraqi forces.
“As a prime minister and supreme commander of the armed forces, I call for adopting the first choice,” Abdul-Mahdi told lawmakers.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked while appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation” before the parliamentary vote if the United States would comply with an Iraqi government request for American troops to leave the country, but Pompeo refused to give a direct answer.
“We’ll watch. We’re following very closely what’s taking place in the Iraqi Parliament,” Pompeo said. “It is the United States that is prepared to help the Iraqi people get what it is they deserve and continue our mission there to take down terrorism from ISIS and others in the region.”
There are currently an estimated 5,200 U.S. troops in the region. Pulling the troops out would not only strengthen ISIS but enable Iran to deepen its influence in Iraq.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham appeared on Fox News on Sunday and stated that the parliamentary vote was “a bit concerning.”
“The Iranian government is trying to basically take over Iraq’s political system. Iran is bribing Iraqi politicians. To the Iraqi people, do not allow your politicians to turn Iraq into a proxy of Iran,” Graham stated.
Trump’s ordered attack that resulted in the death of Soleimani has escalated tensions in the region and created fears that World War III is about to begin.