The Iraqi parliament is set to vote on a draft bill that would ban the United States-led military presence in Iraq, a report says.
The draft bill, which stipulates the expulsion of all foreign forces from Iraq but which focuses specifically on dislodging American forces, is scheduled for a vote on Saturday, Iraq’s al-Ma’lomah news website reported on Thursday.
The US invaded Iraq in 2003, claiming that then-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and sought to use them against the US. Combat forces pulled out of the country in 2011, nominally ending the war. However, thousands of American and other troops remain in the country to allegedly provide logistics and training to Iraqi forces.
Many politicians across Iraq’s political landscape have questioned the foreign military presence in the country over the years. Calls for a withdrawal of foreign forces have grown following the defeat of the Daesh terrorist group in Iraq in 2018.
Speaking about the draft bill due for a vote, Karim Alivi, a member of the Iraqi parliament’s national security and defense committee, said on Thursday that the country’s two biggest parliamentary factions — the Sairoon bloc, led by Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, and the Fatah alliance, headed by secretary general of the Badr Organization, Hadi al-Ameri — supported the document.
The Iraqi lawmaker predicted that the draft text would gain the required majority needed for it to become law, given the two parliamentary blocs’ support.
More recently, as speculation grew about potential US military aggression against Iran, Iraqi figures, including Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, emphasized that US forces would not be allowed to use Iraqi territory to launch any attacks on Iran if a war did break out.