The Republican-led U.S. Senate backed largely symbolic legislation on Monday that broke with President Donald Trump by opposing plans for any abrupt withdrawal of troops from Syria and Afghanistan. While the Kurds have proven themselves to be invaluable in the fight against ISIS in both Syria and Iraq, Turkey views all Kurds as terrorists because of the actions of an ethnically Kurdish militant group inside its own borders.
The Iraqi president said US troops had no right to monitor Iran under the agreement between the two nations, and that their specific mission was to combat terrorism, according to Reuters.
Salih also said it in Iraq's "fundamental interest to develop good relations with our neighbors, including Iran".
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".
"All I want to do is be able to watch", he said, pointing out that the USA has an "unbelievable and expensive military base" in the country that is in the best location for keeping watch on events in the Middle East. Bloomberg's Riad Hamade reports on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Middle East".
Citing two U.S. officials, the Times said on Sunday that senior USA military officers recently visited several Iraqi bases, including in Erbil and the Al Asad Air Base, to determine if existing United States operations there could be expanded with troops shifting in from Syria.
Despite his assertion that the US will return to Syria if needed, Trump is facing stiff opposition from 43 Republicans in the Senate over the pullout.
Trump suggested that his intelligence community is so inept that it might describe Iran as a "wonderful kindergarten" and that he might leave troops in Iraq to "watch Iran". 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.
Although ISIS is no longer in control of any major city in Iraq or Syria, the fighting is not over completely.
"Don't overburden Iraq with your own issues", President Saleh told a forum in Baghdad on Monday. When President Obama pulled out of Iraq in theory we had Iraq.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been high since Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, and imposed crippling economic sanctions against Tehran previous year.
He appeared to be referring to the Al-Asad air base in western Iraq, where he paid a brief visit to USA forces in December.
He blamed the intelligence services for America's involvement in Iraq.
Trump's intelligence chief has described the Hashd as the "primary threat" to the U.S. in Iraq.
He further urged Iraqi parliamentarians to present the draft law on the withdrawal of the U.S. troops from the Arab country.
Pro-Iran politicians with strong Shiite militia backing have pledged to push out US forces through legislation passed by Iraq's parliament, but they have increasingly expressed a willingness for armed confrontation.