Tags: Iran | Iraq | iraq | troops | esper

Defense Secy. Esper: No Decision Yet on Leaving Iraq

Monday, 06 January 2020 04:52 PM

Defense Secretary Mark Esper says the United States has made "no decision" about withdrawing troops from Iraq amid heightened tensions with neighboring Iran.

Esper spoke to reporters Monday after a letter from a U.S. Army general circulated that seemed to suggest a withdrawal had been ordered in response to a vote by the Iraqi Parliament over the weekend.

Esper says, “There's been no decision whatsover to leave Iraq.”

Iraq's Parliament called on Sunday for U.S. and other foreign troops to leave as a backlash grows against the U.S. killing of a top Iranian general

President Donald Trump threatened sanctions against Baghdad as a result, saying that if troops did leave, Baghdad would have to pay Washington for the cost of the air base there.

“We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build, long before my time. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it," Trump told reporters on Air Force One.

Trump said that if Iraq asked U.S. forces to leave and it was not done on a friendly basis, "we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

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Defense Secretary Mark Esper says the United States has made "no decision" about withdrawing troops from Iraq amid heightened tensions with neighboring Iran.Esper spoke to reporters Monday after a letter from a U.S. Army general circulated that seemed to suggest a...
iraq, troops, esper
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2020-52-06
Monday, 06 January 2020 04:52 PM
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