Just ten days after Iraqi Parliament voted to expel American soldiers from the country, the U.S. military has resumed joint operations against the Islamic State groups in Iraq, according to the New York Times.
The joint operations between the U.S. and Iraqi forces started on Wednesday, two American military officials told the New York Times on condition of anonymity.
The operations resumed ten days after the Iraqi Parliament voted to expel all American troops from the country on Jan 5.
Tensions between Iraq and the U.S. flared after a U.S. airstrike on Jan. 3 killed Iran's Major General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi Military commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
The United States made its stand on resuming operations in Iraq clear last week.
“We’re going to continue that mission,” said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday while defying Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s request to send a U.S. delegate to Iraq to discuss pulling out of troops.
It was not clear on Wednesday, however, if the joint operations were approved by the Iraqi government.
Mr. Mahdi, who earlier supported the Iraqi parliament’s decision to expel American forces, seemed to have changed his views.
“If we reach the decision to get the forces out of Iraq, then this would be the decision of the Iraqi government,” said Mahdi in a speech to his cabinet, stressing on the fact that the Parliament does not have the authority to make a final decision on the matter.
Photo Credit: Public domain photo via Wikimedia.
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