President Trump has responded to Iraq parliament voting to expel the U.S. from the Country by threatening deep sanctions and demanding compensation for the U.S. air base there in order to leave.
Per USAToday, President Donald Trump threatened to impose deep sanctions on Iraq if it moves to expel U.S. troops and said Sunday he would not withdraw entirely unless the military is compensated for the “extraordinarily expensive air base” there.
Trump’s remarks came on the same day that Iraq’s Parliament voted to support expelling the U.S. military from its country over mounting anger about a drone strike the president ordered last week that killed Iran’s Qasem Soleimani and earlier U.S. airstrikes in the country. The vote was nonbinding.
“We’ve spent a lot of money in Iraq,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One as he returned to Washington after spending the holidays at his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago. “We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. … We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it.”
The president added that if Iraqi officials try to kick the United States out the country it would not leave on a “very friendly basis.” The U.S. invasion of Iraq took place in 2003.
“We will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever,” Trump said. “It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”
Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi told lawmakers that a timetable for the withdrawal of all foreign troops, including those from the U.S., was required “for the sake of our national sovereignty.” About 5,000 American troops are in various parts of Iraq.