Iraq’s Prime Minister Moves to Expel US Troops After Drone Strike

The government of Prime Minister Shia al-Sudani condemned the US drone strike as a 'terrorist act'

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said Friday that his government is beginning the process that will lead to the expulsion of foreign forces, which includes about 2,500 US troops.

“We are setting the date for the start of the bilateral committee to put arrangements to end the presence of the international coalition forces in Iraq permanently,” al-Sudani said, according to a statement released by his office.

The statement came a day after a US drone strike in Baghdad killed a deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), an umbrella group of mostly Shia militias that’s part of the Iraqi government’s security forces. The PMF was initially formed in 2014 to fight ISIS.

“The Popular Mobilization Forces represent an official presence affiliated with the state, subject to it, and an integral part of our armed forces,” al-Sudani said. “We condemn the attacks targeting our security forces, which go beyond the spirit and letter of the mandate that created the international coalition.”

The US said the drone strike was in retaliation for attacks on US bases in Iraq and Syria that started in October due to President Biden’s full-throated support for Israel’s onslaught in Gaza. The US claimed the man they targeted, Mushtaq Talib al-Saidi, also known as Abu Taqwa, was involved in the attacks but provided no evidence for the claim.

The US has launched several rounds of airstrikes, and al-Sudani’s government, the supposed partner of the US, condemned each one. The Iraqi government said the latest US strike was “no different from a terrorist act.”

The US-led international coalition in Iraq justifies its presence as part of the fight against ISIS. But al-Sudani has said the ISIS remnants that are left in the country could be handled by Iraqi forces.

Iraq’s government has been under significant pressure to expel the US since January 2020, when a US drone strike in Baghdad killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. After the strike, the Iraqi parliament voted to expel US forces, but the US refused to leave.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.