Iraqi parliament demands timeline for foreign troop withdrawal

BAGHDAD (Reuters)–Iraq’s parliament demanded on Thursday that the government set a timeline for the withdrawal of foreign troops stationed in the country to help fight Islamic State (IS) insurgents, a ruling coalition lawmaker said.

A U.S.-led coalition was formed in 2014 and with thousands of troops and air support helped Iraqi security forces and a Kurdish-led Syrian militia roll back IS across large swathes of Iraq and Syria and destroy the cross-border caliphate set up by the jihadists. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over IS in December.

IS has since reverted to a guerrilla-style insurgency and continues to carry out attacks on selected targets.

The Iraqi parliament’s demand underscores the balancing act Abadi must conduct between the United States and Iran, his two biggest military allies who are themselves arch-adversaries.

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