This came after US President Donald Trump's statement on the important role of US troops in Iraq to keep an eye on Iran. In an interview with CBS, Trump said it is important for Washington to keep its military presence at al-Asad air base in Iraq's Anbar province, so the United States can keep a close eye on Iran — because “Iran is a real problem.”
This has created a strong backlash against US troops in Iraq among Iraqi politicians, who consider this an intention of interference in Iraqi politics and the use of Iraqi territory against a neighboring country, which is prohibited per the Iraqi Constitution.
Iraqi President Barham Salih slammed Trump's statement, requesting an explanation of the number of US troops in Iraq and their tasks. "Trump did not ask Iraq's permission to 'watch Iran,'" Salih said.
"Don't overburden Iraq with your own issues," Saiih told a forum in Baghdad Feb. 4. "The United States is a major power … but do not pursue your own policy priorities. We live here," he added.
Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi also rejected using Iraqi territory by any country against another. “Iraq should not be a part of any conflicts between other countries,” he said during his weekly press conference Feb. 5. “We do not agree with the recent US statements. We reject them as these statements are not useful and should be withdrawn.”