Iraq Parliament Votes to Remove US

By Faye Higbee

The Iraq parliament passed a nonbinding resolution to cancel the request for military aid from the US anti-ISIS coalition. (Fox) The resolution does not require US withdrawal unless the Prime Minister orders it. ISW reports that 170 Shi’ite members out of 172 voted for the resolution, while the Sunni and Kurdish members didn’t show up for the vote, because they didn’t agree with rescinding the deal.

According to the (ISW) Institute for the Study of War,

The resolution does not require an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces. The CoR’s resolution asks the Government of Iraq (GoI) to cancel the 2014 military aid request from the GoI to coalition forces. The resolution does not explicitly ask the GoI to revoke the State of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the U.S. and Iraq. It does, however, say the GoI “must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason.” It also calls on the Iraqi government to establish a timetable for the withdrawal of all foreign troops. The CoR cannot itself cancel the 2014 request for coalition support or the SOFA, which requires executive action from the PM. It is unclear if PM Mehdi has the legal authority to do so given his status as a caretaker PM. Mehdi resigned on November 29, 2019 during mass protests.
Nationalist Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr may participate in attacks on US forces and installations. The leader of Sadr’s Toward Reform bloc issued a statement to the CoR on Sadr’s behalf that included demands for an even greater response. In addition to withdrawing from U.S. security agreements, Sadr called for the immediate closure of the “Embassy of American Evil in Iraq,” the closure of U.S. bases in the country, the “humiliating expulsion” of U.S. troops, the “criminalization” of any communication with the U.S. government, and the boycott of American products. In a tweet following the session, Sadr condemned the CoR resolution as insufficient and called on “the Iraqi resistance factions in particular and the factions outside of Iraq for an immediate meeting to announce the formation of “international resistance groups.”
Iraq has been both Shia and Sunni. Muqtada Al-Sadr, a Shia cleric, has been a thorn in the side of the US for years – his railings against the US “occupation” often create havoc.
The 5,000 US troops currently in Iraq temporarily suspended training of Iraqi troops in order to protect bases and personnel.
Featured photo: Screenshot of Iraqi parliament via video by France 24

Sign up for our Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children newsletter and check out our shop while you’re there!