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  • 10/12/2011

Sadr group rejects US presence in Iraq

head of iraq’s sadr movement moqtada al-sadr
Head of Iraq’s Sadr movement Moqtada al-Sadr has rejected any form of US presence in the country, as Iraqi officials are mulling over keeping a limited number of American troops.

”I do not agree with allowing any of the occupation forces, bases or trainers … in any other form,”‌ ABNA quoted Sadr as saying on Monday.

The remarks by the senior anti-US cleric come as Iraqi officials discuss keeping a limited number of American troops as military trainers in Iraq.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki insists that Baghdad will not grant immunity to any US troops remaining in the country beyond an agreed year-end deadline.

Maliki said the forces could rather join up with the existing US Embassy staff or a training mission serving the Western military alliance, NATO.

The US Embassy has a few military trainers attached to its Office for Security Cooperation in Baghdad. NATO has 160 Iraq-based staff who are slated to leave by the end of 2013.

Following the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, there are about 43,500 American troops currently deployed in the country. Under a 2008-clinched bilateral security accord, known as the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), all troops are required to leave the country by the end of this year.

Earlier in the year, however, the White House began mounting pressure on Iraq to extend US presence.

Source: presstv.ir

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