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Iraqi leader says there's 'consensus' on US troops presence

By The News · 01 of April 2019 12:29:50
AP Photo, Barham Salih, No available, Iraq's President Barham Salih speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, March 29, 2019. Salih says he does not see any "serious" opposition when it comes to the presence of American forces in Iraq as long as they are there for the specific mission of assisting in the fight against the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s president says he does not see any “serious” opposition when it comes to the presence of American forces in Iraq as long as they are there specifically to assist in the fight against the Islamic State group.

In an exclusive interview with the Associated Press on Friday, Barham Salih says there is “general consensus” that Iraq needs continued collaboration with the U.S. forces “as long as it is necessary.”

Some 5,200 troops are stationed in Iraq as part of a security agreement with the Iraqi government. Salih’s comments are in stark contrast with that of deputies in the Iraqi Parliament who say they are preparing draft laws calling for a full withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Salih said there is no scheduled debate on the matter in Parliament.