President Donald Trump has threatened to impose “severe sanctions” on Iraq should the Arab country expel the United States’ troops from its country.
President Trump said this aboard Air Force One on his way back to Washington, the US Capital, from Florida on Sunday in reaction to decisions reached by the Iraqi parliament.
The Iraqi parliament on Sunday voted to expel all foreign troops, especially US troops, from its country. Speaking to lawmakers, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, Iraq’s outgoing Prime Minister, said the US had violated the terms of staying in his country by killing Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force on Friday
But President Trump insisted that he will not pull out US troops from Iraq until a form of compensation is paid for the military infrastructure built in the Arab country.
“We have a very extraordinarily expensive airbase that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it.
“We will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before, ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame,” President Trump told reporters aboard the presidential plane.
Tensions are high after the US assassinated General Qasem Soleimani alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the head of Hashed al-Shaabi, an Iraqi paramilitary force with close ties to Iran in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, last week.
Iran has vowed “severe revenge”.
Three Katyusha rockets were reported to have exploded near the US embassy in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone on Sunday.
The three other rockets fell in the nearby Jadriya area, an Iraqi military’s statement said on Sunday.
Six persons were said to be injured.
This comes a day after two rockets were said to have landed inside a square less than one kilometre from the U.S. embassy.
As reports of the strikes in Baghdad emerged on Sunday, President Trump notified the US Congress of his intention to launch a potential attack on Iran via Twitter.
The US President insisted that there was no legal basis for him to notify the US parliament, but stated that he was still doing so through “these media posts”.
“These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner. Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!” President Trump tweeted.