Iraqi Parliament Votes to End US Military Presence

Bill would require ouster of all foreign troops

In a 170-0 vote during Sunday’s emergency session, Iraq’s parliament voted in favor of a five-point plan to require the Iraqi government to oust all foreign troops from the country, and withdraw the 2014 request for assistance against ISIS, a group which largely does not exist in Iraq.

The session was called after the Thursday night US airstrike against Baghdad International Airport, which killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, as well as high ranking Iraqi government official Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The parliamentary resolution made clear that they view this as a gross violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

The resolution now goes on to be signed by the Iraqi prime minister, in this case Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who resigned in November but has yet to be replaced. Abdul-Mahdi was responsible for much of the language of the resolution, and his signature seems a foregone conclusion.

The 170-0 vote was a result of many smaller factions, including the Kurds, not showing up to the session. The Shi’ites clearly had more than enough MPs for a majority vote, and were the ones most affected by the US attack.

The resolution offers no specific timetable for expelling US troops from Iraq, but it is likely to be sooner rather than later, given the circumstances. Iraq has long tried to avoid being the battleground of a US-Iran proxy fight, and this seems to be their best chance at that.

The US has not responded to the vote, but since they have long emphasized that their presence in Iraq is because of Iraqi government requests and permission, it would be very difficult for them to try to work out an argument where they stay and keep attacking Iraqi government targets, even if that is the clear preference at the moment.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.