Iraq Officially Denounces Trump Unannounced Visit to US Troops
Iraqi political and resistance leaders condemned US President Donald Trump's unannounced trip to Iraq as a violation of their country's sovereignty.
In a surprise visit to US troops, Trump on Wednesday landed at an airbase west of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, where he thanked the soldiers for their service.
Sabah al-Saadi, the leader of the Islah parliamentary bloc, called for an emergency session of the Iraqi parliament "to discuss this blatant violation of Iraq's sovereignty and to stop these aggressive actions by Trump who should know his limits: The US occupation of Iraq is over".
The Bina bloc, Islah's rival in parliament and led by resistance leader Hadi al-Amiri, also objected to Trump's trip to the country.
"Trump's visit is a flagrant and clear violation of diplomatic norms and shows his disdain and hostility in his dealings with the Iraqi government," said a statement from Bina.
Trump's visit to Iraq came a week after his decision to withdraw all US troops from neighboring Syria despite strong objections from domestic and foreign allies. Pentagon chief Jim Mattis and the US envoy to the coalition supposedly fighting Daesh [the Arabic acronym of terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] quit shortly after Trump's announcement.
Falih Khazali, a former military leader turned politician allied with Bina, accused the US of wanting to increase its presence in Iraq.
"The American leadership was defeated in Iraq and wants to return again under any pretext, and this is what we will never allow," he said.
Relatively, Qais al-Khazali, the leader of the powerful Asaib Ahl al-Haq movement, said on Twitter: "Iraqis will respond with a parliamentary decision to oust your [US] military forces. And if they do not leave, we have the experience and the ability to remove them by other means that your forces are familiar with."
In Baghdad's streets, meanwhile, Iraqis denounced the US presence in the country.
"We won't get anything from America," resident Mohammad Abdullah told Reuters.
"They've been in Iraq for 16 years, and they haven't given anything to the country except destruction and devastation."
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team