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Federal opposition divided over Iraq mission as troops remain hunkered down

Federal opposition divided over Iraq mission as troops remain hunkered down”

The Liberal government says it plans to resume the entire mission once the security situation improves.

The paper quoted unnamed Iraqi officials as saying that the US State Department warning came after the Iraqi parliament voted in favour of a resolution demanding the removal of American forces from Iraq following the assassination of Commander of Iran's Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, in a US drone attack in Baghdad. "We're not leaving unless they pay us back for it", Trump said. "If you look at (U.S. President Donald) Trump's moves in Iran in the last 10 days, we now have a very unpredictable partner in Mr. Trump and the Americans. and we think that's a risky place for Canadians to be".

An Iraqi army soldier stands guard near a US-made Iraqi Air Force F-16 fighter jet at the Balad Air Base, Iraq.

But Pompeo - whose State Department often insists it can not divulge details of his calls - said he heard a different message in conversations with around 50 Iraqi leaders since the start of the month.

Canada's mission in Iraq has two main elements, the first of which involves about 200 troops who have been training local forces through North Atlantic Treaty Organisation since October 2018 to fight ISIL. US defense officials confirmed to VOA were no USA troops on the base.

Iraq's parliament voted January 5 on a motion to expel USA troops.

Military bases in Iraq hosting USA troops have been targeted by rocket and mortar attacks from Iran-backed militias in recent months. Tehran also accidentally shot down a passenger aircraft, killing 176 people.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo early Monday morning said he was "outraged" by the rocket attack targeting Al-Balad, an airbase just north of Baghdad where US forces have been stationed, which wounded two Iraqi officers and two airmen.



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