January 7, 2020 / 7:46 PM / 20 days ago

No Iraqi request to withdraw U.S. forces, Pentagon says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Tuesday he hadn’t received a request from Iraq to withdraw U.S. troops from the country and noted that an Iraqi parliamentary resolution requesting a pullout was non-binding.

“To the best of my knowledge, I haven’t received any communication from (Iraq’s prime minister) or the Iraqi government about the legislation, or about an order or a request to withdraw U.S. forces,” Esper told a news conference at the Pentagon.

The United States has more than 5,000 troops in Iraq, where they are training Iraqi forces and leading a coalition battling the remnants of Islamic State.

Reporting by Phil Stewart, Editing by Franklin Paul

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