By: Micaela Burrow, Daily Caller News Foundation
Iraq’s prime minister on Friday threatened to oust all forces assigned to a U.S.-led coalition to defeat the Islamic State in the country following a U.S. airstrike on a terrorist militia leader in Baghdad, according to Reuters.
The Iraqi government will convene a committee to prepare to close down the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, a U.S.-led multinational coalition to advise and assist local forces in carrying the enduring defeat of ISIS, Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Sudani’s office said, according to Reuters. Al-Sudani reacted angrily to Thursday’s deadly U.S. strike on a militia leader associated with a nebulous non-state group that backed the prime minister’s electoral bid.
“Government is setting the date for the start of the bilateral committee to put arrangements to end the presence of the international coalition forces in Iraq permanently,” the Prime Minister’s office said in a statement, according to a Reuters translation.
The committee will include representation from the U.S.-led coalition, the statement said.
Iran-aligned groups in Iraq urged Sudani to revoke the agreement allowing the coalition forces to operate in Iraq, Reuters reported.
Rockets struck the headquarters for the designated terrorist organization Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, which is associatedwith Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Force (PMF), killing four including a regional commander and one of his aides, according to reports from Reuters and The Associated Press.
“U.S. forces took necessary and proportionate action” against a militia leader who went by Abu-Taqwa, Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said. “Abu Takwa was actively involved in planning and carrying out attacks against American personnel,” he said, noting that no civilians were harmed and no infrastructure or facilities struck.
The commander was associated with dozens of drone and rocket attacks on U.S. and coalition bases in Iraq in recent months, Ryder said.
“We stress our firm position in ending the existence of the international coalition after the justifications for its existence have ended,” Sudani said in the statement, according to Reuters.
Al-Sudani previously called the attack a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and accused the U.S. of killing one Iraqi service member and wounding 18 people, including civilians, according to The Washington Post.
“The Iraqi armed forces hold the international coalition forces responsible for this unjustified attack on an Iraqi security entity,” the prime minister’s military spokesman said in a statement.
Al-Sudani has nominal control over the PMF, whose support he gained to win the latest election, according to media reports.
The U.S. maintains a presence of about 2,500 troops in Iraq and an additional 900 in Syria to carry out an ongoing mission to defeat the Islamic State.
On Wednesday, Iraqi police forces discovered an Iranian cruise missile near Babylon that failed to launch, U.S. Central Command said in a statement Friday morning.
“The use of Iranian supplied munitions by terrorist groups within Iraq and Syria endanger Coalition forces and local residents. The Coalition is appreciative of the efforts of the legitimate security forces in Iraq for their efforts to prevent future attacks,” CENTCOM said.