Appearing Pentagon chief Pat Shanahan has arrived in Baghdad to seek the advice of with Iraqi leaders in regards to the future US troop presence within the nation, after Donald Trump was slammed for suggesting American forces would stay to “watch Iran.”

Marking his first journey to Iraq, Shanahan will focus on the US navy mission within the nation with prime officers, in addition to obtain a briefing on Iraq’s combat towards Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS/ISIL) remnants, the Related Press studies.

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The performing secretary of protection was in Afghanistan on Monday, the place he pushed Kabul to carry peace talks with the Taliban and reportedly assessed the prospects of a possible US navy withdrawal. The obvious allure offensive seems to have a unique purpose in Iraq, nevertheless. President Donald Trump beforehand mentioned US troops could also be stationed indefinitely so as to “watch Iran” – a remark that hasn’t resonated nicely in Baghdad.

Iraqi President Barham Salih dismissed Trump’s assertion, claiming that the US chief by no means requested for permission to make use of Iraqi territory to eavesdrop on Iran.

He mentioned that it was flawed for Washington to “pursue [its own] coverage priorities” in Iraq, particularly since it’s in his nation’s “elementary curiosity” to pursue constructive relations with Iran.

The US navy, Salih harassed, has just one mandate in Iraq – to assist combat terrorism.

In the meantime, former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi advised RT’s Sophie Shevardnadze that Washington’s said intention to develop US navy aims in Iraq can be a violation of Iraqi legislation.

“It’s not a job of overseas troops to spy on our neighbors or use Iraq as springboard towards our neighbors, this isn’t allowed within the Iraqi structure and this isn’t a part of the entire operations,” Abadi mentioned.

The previous prime minister noticed that poor communication between Washington and Baghdad has “poisoned [their] relationship barely.”

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Trump did not ask permission to ‘watch Iran’ from bases in Iraq – President Salih

Sixteen years after the US invaded to topple Saddam Hussein and expropriate his non-existent “weapons of mass destruction,” 5,200 US troops nonetheless stay in Iraq, the place they advise and prepare Iraqi forces.

Shanahan has quickly taken the reins on the Pentagon after James Mattis resigned over Trump’s determination to drag out of Syria. The performing protection secretary isn’t the one prime US official attempting to fix Washington’s wobbly relations overseas. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is presently on a five-day tour of Japanese Europe, in hopes of courting nations that had been as soon as “shunned” by the US.

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