Barham Salih: Trump did not ask Iraq's permission to 'watch Iran'

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In a tweet that same day, President Donald Trump declared, "We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump presidency".

Iraqi President Barham Salih on Monday said that President Donald Trump did not request permission from the Iraqi government to leave stationed us troops in the country for the goal of monitoring neighboring Iran.

"Don't overburden Iraq with your own issues", he added.

Paul called the amendment - which McConnell authored and is widely viewed as a rebuke to Trump's plans to withdraw troops from the two countries - a product of a "war caucus" that Paul said includes Republicans and Democrats.

Salih also said it in Iraq's "fundamental interest to develop good relations with our neighbors, including Iran".

"This war. What we're doing is got to stop at some point, ' Trump told CBS" "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

"So when my intelligence people tell me how wonderful Iran is - if you don't mind, I'm going to just go by my own counsel".

Mr Trump said the United States had spent a "fortune" on the Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq, which he visited in December, and that the United States should hold on to it.

During a surprise visit to Iraq late past year, Trump made clear that he has "no plans at all" to remove USA troops from the Middle Eastern country, stressing his interest in wanting more soldiers deployed there from Syria.

The U.S. national security establishment reacted with alarm earlier this month after reports broke out about Trump's plans for an immediate and total withdrawal of troops from Syria, as well as a drawdown of thousands of troops in Afghanistan.

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But our correspondent says the USA president's latest references to Iran and the need to protect Israel point to a very different set of priorities, which is causing unease in Baghdad.

Trump's intelligence chief has described the Hashd as the "primary threat" to the USA in Iraq. "We're going to keep watching and we're going to keep seeing and if there's trouble, if somebody is looking to do nuclear weapons or other things, we're going to know it before they do".

We never had Syria because President Obama never wanted to violate the red line in the sand. "We might as well keep it".

"The United States calls upon other nations to repatriate and prosecute their citizens detained by the SDF and commends the continued efforts of the SDF to return these foreign terrorist fighters to their countries of origin", said State Department Deputy Spokesman Robert Palladino.

One of the things the report revealed is that the US-backed militia was presumably on the brink of crushing the last IS holdout in the Euphrates Valley, but had to halt their operation when Turkey threatened to intervene against the Kurdish fighters. Shiite-led Iran has strongly backed fellow Shiites who assumed power in Iraq after the 2003 USA -led invasion deposed a regime headed by minority Sunni Muslims under dictator Saddam Hussein.

The BBC's Paul Adams says this poses a problem for the government in Baghdad and could complicate delicate negotiations over USA use of the Al Asad Airbase.

Trump's comments on Sunday have added to mounting concerns among both opponents and supporters of an American troop presence in Iraq.

According to the Pentagon, while US -backed Syrian forces have continued the fight to retake the remaining ISIS strongholds in Syria, ISIS remains a "potent force of battle-hardened and well-disciplined fighters that could likely resurge in Syria absent continued counterterrorism pressure", the report reads.

"But you want to keep troops there now?"

'Absent sustained [counterterrorism] pressure, ISIS could likely resurge in Syria within six to twelve months, ' read the IG report on Operation Inherent Resolve, which is the name for US operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.