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Iraq’s Parliament votes to expel US troops from the country

Lawmakers voted on Sunday in favour of a resolution that calls for ending foreign military presence in the country. The resolution’s main aim is to get the US to withdraw some 5,000 troops present in different parts of Iraq.

The vote comes two days after a US airstrike killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani inside Iraq, dramatically increasing regional tensions. Soleimani was one of the most popular figures in Iran and was seen as a deadly adversary by the US and its allies. Top Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an adviser to Soleimani, was also killed in the attack on Friday.

The Iraqi resolution specifically calls for ending an agreement in which Washington sent troops to Iraq more than four years ago to help in the fight against the Islamic State group.




The resolution 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.

On Saturday, two missiles hit the Green Zone in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, a high-security enclave where the US embassy is based. The Iraqi military said one projectile hit inside the zone, while another landed close to the enclave.

Sirens immediately rang out at the American compound in Baghdad hosting both diplomats and troops, said sources.



A pair of Katyusha rockets then struck the Al-Balad Air Force Base hosting US troops in the north of the capital. Security sources there reported blaring sirens and said surveillance drones were sent above the base to locate the source of the rockets.


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