US rejects bid to withdraw troops from Iran

Intro

The United States has rejected a request by Iraq to start talks on pulling out its 5,200 troops, notching up the discord after Washington killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad.

Angry at an attack seen as violating Iraqi sovereignty and enmeshing the country again in war, Iraq’s caretaker prime minister asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo late Thursday to send a delegation to begin withdrawal arrangements.

The State Department said it was ready for “a conversation” but not about removing troops.

“At this time, any delegation sent to Iraq would be dedicated to discussing how to best recommit to our strategic partnership not to discuss troop withdrawal, but our right, appropriate force posture in the Middle East,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

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