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Iraqi Popular Forces Ask for US Pullout

Spokesman of Iraq's al-Nujaba Movement Nasr al-Shammari warned against US continued deployment in the country, saying that the Iraqi popular forces monitor the American forces' moves.

“It is our right to monitor the US military bases in Iraq’s territories. The presence of American soldiers in Iraq is illegal and their traffic in Iraq should be based on the parliament’s approval,” al-Shammari told the Arabic-language al-Alam news channel on Wednesday.

He addressed the Americans, saying, “Pull out your military forces from Iraq and close your embassy with thousands of personnel before you will be forced to.”

Al-Shammari also warned that in case of continued pressures on Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraqi popular forces), they will make efforts to cut Baghdad-Washington ties and expel the US ambassador.

Calls have grown in Iraq for the US exit since last December, when US President Donald Trump made an unannounced visit to al-Asad Air Base in the Western Anbar Province.

The trip sparked a wave of condemnations from Iraqi political leaders, with some of them demanding the swift expulsion of American forces.

Meantime, a senior member of the Iraqi parliament’s security committee revealed in March that the US forces were training terrorist groups at their bases in three provinces of Iraq.

Karim al-Mohammadawi was quoted as saying by the Arabic-language al-Ma’aloumeh news website that the US forces are training and arming the terrorists at their bases in al-Anbar, Kirkuk and Erbil provinces without the Iraqi government’s knowledge.

He added that a large number of terrorists are being trained in Ain al-Assad base in al-Anbar province, K1 base in Kirkuk and a base in Erbil, noting that the main goal behind the move is decreasing the role of Hashd al-Shaabi and making them withdraw from the Western provinces because their presence is not in line with the US interests.

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