In an interview today with NPR, Iraqi Prime Minister Hayder Abadi said he is eager to get more airstrikes against ISIS from the US and its coalition partners, but that he opposes any deployment of foreign ground troops into Iraq for any reason.
“We don’t want boots on the ground. Full stop,” Abadi insisted, saying Iraq needs some air support but doesn’t need additional ground troops to defeat ISIS, nor would it welcome troops from any country, including the US.
Abadi also expressed alarm at talk of international armies being sent to Iraq, whether regional or Western in nation, saying Iraqis are concerned that these deployments are going to ultimately end with an occupation of Iraq.
Abadi has faced growing political opposition over the presence of US troops in Iraq already, and has pushed back against talk of more US deployments. He also pushed back heavily against a Turkish deployment earlier this month, with the US ultimately convincing Turkey to withdraw the troops.
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