Iraqi Parliament votes to expel US forces
The Iraqi parliament in Baghdad has just voted to expel US forces from the country. The US airstrike against Qasem Suelimani did not consult Iraqi officials before execution, and this has played into renewed debates over the sovereignty of the country. The parliament has cited concerns that US presence violates the integrity of the state.
US troops, alongside an international coalition involving the the likes of the United Kingdom, has been in Iraq for four years to aid in the fight against Daesh. The US will now have to withdraw its 5,200 troops. The UK has a presence of 400 troops, there on a training mission with the Iraqi army. It is very likely that British forces will also be expelled, or rather the Ministry of Defence will withdraw the personnel preemptively.
It is too bold a claim to speculate whether this will allow an absolute resurgence of Daesh in the region, though it certainly does no favours for coalition efforts. The second consequence of this decision is that it shows serious solidarity between Iran and Iraq. Any development of a quasi-alliance in the region will have knock-on effects for political and security objectives for the US and UK in the region, and will force policy re-considerations in Washington and Whitehall.
At the time of writing, Toby Irwin is a third year student at the University of St Andrews. He is studying International Relations. Areas that interest him the most are UK foreign policy and the defence/aerospace industry.