New Delhi: Two days after a United States airstrike killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, the latter’s Parliament on Sunday voted in favour of withdrawing all foreign military presence from the country. The resolution is primarily aimed at ending the presence of over 5,000 US troops across different parts of Iraq.
Passing the resolution in Parliament, Iraq stated that the government will work towards expelling foreign troops on Iraqi soil and “prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason”.
The sudden killing of Soleimani dramatically heightened regional tensions between Iran and Iraq. Notably, his advisor and a prominent Iraqi militia commander, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, was also killed subsequently in the attack on Friday.
Iraq’s resolution also aimed to revoke assistance from the US to fight the ‘Islamic State’ or ISIS in future operations. While the resolution was backed by Shiite members of Iraqi Parliament, several Sunni and Kurdish lawmakers remained absent, opposing the deal.
Remarkably, on Saturday, two missiles, reportedly Katyusha rockets, hit the heavily fortified Green Zone near US embassy in Baghdad. However, no casualties were reported.
Soleimani, the Quds Force chief and the architect and enabler of several powerful Shia militias across the Middle East, was killed alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy leader of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), an Iraqi militia.