Flashpoints

U.S. troops have no plans to leave Iraq, Pompeo says

The Briefing - 1.3.20

Air strikes and an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, a big new paycheck for troops takes effect, and two Marines' rifles go missing at Camp Lejeune - those stories and more on this week's episode of The Briefing from Military Times.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dismissed the Iraqi Parliament’s vote Sunday that called for U.S. troops to leave their country.

“We are confident that the Iraqi people want the United States to continue to be there to fight the counterterror campaign. And we’ll continue to do all the things we need to do to keep America safe," Pompeo said on “Fox News Sunday.

Pompeo said he did not consider the parliament’s vote to be a final, formal decision by the Iraqi government.

“We’ll have to take a look at what we do when the Iraqi leadership and government makes a decision,” he said. “But the American people should know we’ll make the right decision.”

Iraq’s Parliament called for the expulsion of U.S. troops from the country Sunday in reaction to the American drone attack that killed a top Iranian general.

Lawmakers approved a resolution asking the Iraqi government to end the agreement under which Washington sent forces to Iraq more than four years ago to help in the fight against the Islamic State group.

A pullout of the estimated 5,200 U.S. troops could cripple the fight against ISIS and allow its resurgence.

The majority of about 180 legislators present in Parliament voted in favor of the resolution. It was backed by most Shiite members of parliament, who hold a majority of seats. Many Sunni and Kurdish legislators did not show up for the session, apparently because they oppose abolishing the deal.

Officials from the Pentagon, U.S. Central Command and the Combined Joint Task Force Inherent Resolve did not immediately respond to requests by Military Times for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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