By Ramzy Baroud |Telesur |
“We have an extraordinarily expensive airbase in Iraq, which cost billions of dollars to build, we’re not leaving unless we get paid for it,” Trump told reporters.
United States President Donald Trump said Sunday that if Iraq forces the withdrawal of U.S. military personnel it would have to pay the costs of the U.S. airbase built there or prepare for sanctions so “strong that those imposed on Iran would pale in comparison.”
The measures the United States is willing to apply to its alleged ally in the fight against the Islamic State group will be even tougher than the crippling sanctions already in place against Tehran, he added.
Trump’s statements come after Iraqi parliamentarians passed a resolution, supported by the country’s interim prime minister, calling on the Iraqi government to expel foreign troops by canceling a request for military assistance from the U.S.-led coalition.
The resolution passed on Sunday, states that some of the foreign troops could remain in Iraq for training, but Iraqi authorities should report on the number of foreign instructors deemed necessary.
Some 5,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq, most in an advisory role. These troops are based in several parts of the country, including the Al-Anbar and Nineveh provinces that border neighboring Syria.