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Iraq Parliament votes to expel U.S. military after drone attack

The resolution was backed by most Shiite members of parliament, who hold a majority of seats. Many Sunni and Kurdish legislators did not show up for the session, possibly because they were opposed to the resolution, reports CTV News Canada.

The vote comes two days after a U.S. airstrike killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani inside Iraq, raising tensions dramatically in the region. The approximately 5,500 U.S. troops in Iraq are there to help in training the Iraqi military in anti-Isis operations, but their presence has become controversial.

The Iraqi resolution calls specifically for ending an agreement with Washington made four years ago that allowed the U.S. to send troops to Iraq to help in the fight against the Islamic State group, per the Associated Press.

International Coalition lives at stake
Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq has suspended operations against the Islamic State group so its forces can concentrate on protecting US, UK and other troops at bases in Iraq. The announcement came just a few minutes before the Iraqi Parliament vote this morning.

In a statement, Operation Inherent Resolve said the coalition was “fully committed” to protecting its bases in the light of “repeated rocket attacks” from pro-Iranian militias over the past two months, according to The Guardian.

“This has limited our capacity to conduct training with partners and to support their operations against Daesh [Isis], and we have therefore paused these activities, subject to continuous review,” the coalition said.

“We remain ready to return our full attention and efforts back to our shared goal of ensuring the lasting defeat of Daesh,” the coalition’s statement concluded.

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