Washington - (AFP) - Discussions with Baghdad about the future of the American forces that the Iraqi parliament has called for their departure have not started yet, adding that it will not be possible for the soldiers to stay indefinitely without ending their interest in fighting jihadists.
Since the United States killed the Iranian general, Qasim Soleimani, and the leader of the popular crowd, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, in a raid near Baghdad airport on January 3, "operations in Iraq" have stopped against the Islamic State, according to the American special envoy to the international coalition, James Jeffrey. .
"We are focusing on protecting our forces," which is threatened by Iranian reprisals, he added during a press conference in Washington Thursday.
In the wake of Soleimani’s death, the Iraqi parliament voted on a resolution demanding the departure of US and foreign forces. After that, resigned Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi asked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to send a delegation to discuss a "safe withdrawal of forces from Iraq."
"There has not yet been a real dialogue," Geoffrey said, before repeating the US position, "We don't think we should withdraw."
"We are ready to discuss with the Iraqi government our comprehensive strategic relations," he added.
He indicated that this includes financial and economic aid, security, equipment for Iraqi forces, and diplomatic relations. "We look at that as a whole."
The diplomat said that the coalition had not observed "an increase in violence in Iraq by ISIS during this period." However, he added, "If this is prolonged (...) there is a danger that our efforts against the Islamic State will be undermined."