Jan 3, 2020

Iraqi PM denounces Soleimani strike, warns it "will light the fuse of war"

Photo: Thomas Koehler/Photothek via Getty Images)

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi denounced Friday the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis as an "act of aggression against Iraq" that would "light the fuse of war."

The latest: Mahdi, who has close ties to Iran, labeled the strike a "massive breach of sovereignty." He called an emergency parliamentary session to "take the appropriate legislative measures in a manner that preserves the dignity, security and sovereignty of Iraq."

Why it matters: The strike against Soleimani could well make the current U.S. presence in Iraq untenable, both because U.S. troops and other personnel could be targeted by Iran and its proxies and because this will further poison the relationship between Washington and Baghdad.

What they're saying:

  • President Trump has tweeted that Soleimani "should have been taken out many years ago." Former Presidents Obama and George W. Bush decided not to target him for fear of escalation with Iran.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the strike was intended to disrupt an "imminent" attack against Americans in the Middle East, but did not offer details.
  • Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has vowed "severe revenge."

Go deeper: Why Qasem Soleimani mattered

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The latest: Iran general who replaced Soleimani vows revenge for death

Photo: Mohammed Sawaf/AFP via Getty Images

Iran's new top commander Esmail Ghaani, who replaced Gen. Qasem Soleimani after he died in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq, pledged during a televised address Monday to avenge the general's killing, AP reports.

The latest: Ghaani‘s declaration that God "has promised to get his revenge" and that "certainly actions will be taken" came hours after Iran said it would no longer abide by limits on its uranium enrichment and Iraq's parliament voted to call on the Iraqi government to expel U.S. troops from the country over Friday's airstrike.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 6, 2020

Iraqi parliament calls on government to expel U.S. troops

Iraqi Prime Minister Mahdi. Photo: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images

The Iraqi parliament passed a resolution Sunday calling on the government to expel U.S. troops from the country in response to the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and the leader of an Iraqi militia on its soil.

Between the lines: A senior Iraqi government official told Axios' Jonathan Swan that the actual expulsion of U.S. troops is far from a certain outcome. This is a resolution and the prime minister who must sign it has already resigned, the official said.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 5, 2020

Iraqi PM asks Pompeo to send delegation to plan U.S. troop withdrawal

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi in January 2019. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday that the U.S. should send delegates to Iraq in order to determine the best way to withdraw all of its troops there, the AP reports.

The big picture: While tensions between the U.S. and Iran seem to be lessening, Abul-Mahdi is standing his ground and backing the Iraqi parliament's non-binding resolution to expel all U.S. troops from the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 10, 2020