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Iraqi-U.S. Ties Reach a Breaking Point

Jan 6, 2020 | 23:03 GMT
An Iraqi demonstrator poses with the national flag as angry protesters blocked roads in the central city of Najaf on Jan. 5, 2020, to oppose the possibility that Iraq would become a battleground between the United States and Iran.

An Iraqi demonstrator poses with the national flag as angry protesters blocked roads in the central city of Najaf on Jan. 5, 2020, to oppose the possibility that Iraq would become a battleground between the United States and Iran. The killing of senior Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani has driven a wedge between Washington and Baghdad.

(HAIDAR HAMDANI/AFP via Getty Images)

In death, senior Iranian military figure Qassem Soleimani may be getting closer to achieving one of his overarching aims: removing the United States from Iraq. On Jan. 5, Iraq's parliament convened a special session in the wake of the airstrike that killed Soleimani and Iraqi militia leaders to accelerate the government's expected request that the United States withdraw its forces from Iraq. In the nonbinding resolution, legislators demanded that the Iraqi government cancel its request for assistance from the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State, remove all foreign troops from Iraqi land and airspace, keep all weapons in government hands, investigate the U.S. airstrike that killed Soleimani and lodge a complaint at the United Nations over Washington's alleged violation of Iraqi sovereignty. One day later, a draft letter from the U.S. Department of Defense and a statement from Secretary of Defense Mark Esper indicated that the United States could already...

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