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Trump warns Iraq of sanctions if US forces are deported

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — If the Iraqi government forces the withdrawal of US forces, Baghdad will face “sanctions they have never seen before,” US President Donald Trump said.

Trump said the economic sanctions would exceed the sanctions the US has imposed on Iran, adding: “If there is any hostility, if they do anything we think is inappropriate, we will impose sanctions on Iraq, very strict sanctions. major to Iraq.”

The warning comes after the Iraqi parliament passed a resolution urging the government to deport US troops in retaliation for the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, the former chief architect of Tehran’s regional operations.

The State Department expressed its frustration over the vote, calling on Baghdad to reconsider it.

Trump defined his threat with tough sanctions on US military investment in Iraq, referring in particular to an air base the US has helped develop.

“We have an extremely expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build it. We’re not leaving unless they pay us for it,” he added.

The US president did not specify what air base he was referring to, but it is probably Al Assad Air Force Base in central Anbar province. The facility was used jointly by US and Iraqi forces.

A US airstrike outside Baghdad airport killed Soleimani and the deputy leader of Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi group Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

His assassination marks a dramatic escalation in tensions between the US and Iran, which have often been exacerbated since President Donald Trump in 2018 chose to unilaterally withdraw the United States from the nuclear deal that world powers signed. with Tehran.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, who awarded Soleiman the highest state award last year, pledged “a bitter retaliation” in response to the killing.

Trump on Saturday said that if Iran by any retaliatory action strikes American targets or interests “we will strike 52 Iranian targets (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some of a very high level and important to Iran. and Iranian culture, and these targets and Iran itself, will be hit very quickly and very strongly. The US wants no more threats! ”

Concerns have been raised that if the US strikes Iranian cultural sites, it would be a war crime under international law. But Trump has been firm, repeating the threat.

“They are allowed to kill our people. They are allowed to torture and kill our people. They are allowed to use bombs on the streets and blow up our people. And we are not allowed to touch their cultural sites? that way, “he said.

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