Late on January 9, Iraq’s caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi called on the United States to dispatch a delegation to Baghdad tasked with formulating a mechanism for the withdrawal of US troops from the country.
According to a statement released by the Iraqi premier’s office, Abdul-Mahdi “requested that delegates be sent to Iraq to set the mechanisms to implement the parliament's decision for the secure withdrawal of (foreign) forces from Iraq” in a phone call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The prime minister said Iraq rejects violation of its sovereignty, particularly the US military's violation of Iraqi airspace in the airstrike that assassinated Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, the deputy head of PMU, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and their companions.
“We've had a very good relationship. And we're down to a very low number. We're down to 5,000. So we're down to a very low number, historically low, and we'll see what happens,” Trump told journalists following a meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos on Wednesday with the Iraqi leader.
Salih and Trump also discussed the importance of respecting the demands of the Iraqi people to preserve the country’s sovereignty.
“We have a lot of common interests, the fight against extremism, stability in the neighborhood, and [a] sovereign Iraq that is stable, friends of the neighbors and friends of the United States,” the Iraqi president commented.
On January 5, Iraqi lawmakers unanimously approved a bill, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country.