Joint committee to 'reassess' overall relationship

Iraq denies additional foreign troops entry, reaffirms exit plan

BAGHDAD, 20 January — Major General Yahya Rasoul, spokesman for the Commander-in-Chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces, refuted reports on Saturday about the entry of additional forces from the international coalition into Iraq.

This statement comes amid escalating tensions following a US airstrike in Baghdad that killed a leader of the Harakat-al-Nujaba militia, an Iran-backed force.

The strike, which followed weeks of kamikaze drone attacks on US positions in Erbil and elsewhere, has renewed calls by some political figures for the Iraqi PM to eject coalition forces from Iraq.

The Iraqi government, under Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, maintains he is actively working towards ending the foreign military presence in the country.

Major General Yahya Rasoul’s statement:

There is no truth in the reports regarding additional foreign forces entering Iraq.

The joint committee between Iraq and the international coalition will soon begin work to plan the coalition’s withdrawal from Iraq and to reassess our overall relationship.

The Iraqi government is committed to ending the foreign military presence and envisions the next phase to include joint technical efforts. This will bring an end to the international coalition’s mission and shift towards bilateral security and military cooperation, focusing on armament and advisory services.

There is significant government interest in arming and equipping the army and other security forces.