Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has rejected a call by Washington for Iranian-backed fighters to leave Iraq at a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Baghdad.Tillerson made the unannounced visit to the Iraqi capital on Monday came amid heightened tensions between the two countries over the role of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), Shia paramilitaries that helped defeat ISIL in Iraq.Ryan Dillon, said, "We do not have reports of…the types of units that you had mentioned." However, Kurdish officials point to a Facebook video of a ceremony in which the Iraqi flag was raised at a government building. "Our policy is based on a clear-eyed assessment of the Iranian dictatorship, its sponsorship of terrorism, and its continuing aggression in the Middle East and all around the world," Trump said.It shows two controversial figures on hand: Hadi al-Amiri, the head of the Badr Organization, an Iranian-backed political party; and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who has been sanctioned by the U. Treasury for acts of violence against Americans, and is considered a close adviser to Soleimani. Trump also announced new sanctions on Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).S.-backed Kurds, according to Iraqi, Kurdish and American officials. The major general commands an elite unit known as the Quds Force and has been dubbed the most powerful intelligence operative in the Middle East. "It is a catastrophic defeat for the United States and a fantastic victory for Iran's Revolutionary Guard, proving that Qassem Soleimani gets his way once again," said Ali Khedery, a former senior adviser on Iraq policy in the Bush and Obama administrations.
17 statment reported by Al-Monitor that "Iran plays no role in the Kirkuk operation." President Donald Trump said the U. wasn't taking sides, and his government neither condemned the move by Baghdad nor mentioned the Iranian component."We remain very concerned about the situation in northern Iraq," said Michael Anton, spokesman for the National Security Council."We urge both parties to stand down and resolve any dispute peacefully and politically, remain united in the fight against ISIS and remain united against a common threat in Iran." Sen. "The United States provided equipment and training to the government of Iraq to fight [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)] and secure itself from external threats — not to attack elements of one of its own regional governments, which is a longstanding and valuable partner of the United States," Mc Cain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement.John Mc Cain (R-Ariz.) warned Monday there would be "severe consequences" if Baghdad used U. Critics accused Trump of wilting in the face of Iran's tough tactics."This is the first real tangible challenge to the Trump Iran doctrine, and we have our answer: it seems like there is nothing behind it," Michael Barbero, a retired U. Army lieutenant general who served in Iraq and has close ties to the Kurds, told NBC News. forces left Iraq in 2011, Vice President Joseph Biden and other American officials conducted hours of diplomacy in an effort to mediate the situation.