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).
The top US diplomat had previously called for Iraq-based But Abadi insisted on Monday that the force consists solely of Iraqi nationals who "fought terrorism" and made sacrifices that contributed to the victory over the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) armed group.
Calling it "part of the Iraqi institutions," Abadi said PMF fighters "should be encouraged because they will be the hope of country and the region", according to a statement by his media office.
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.
"We remain very concerned about the situation in northern Iraq," said Michael Anton, spokesman for the National Security Council.
Baghdad's forces had previously captured Kirkuk city, as part of a major military operation in the wake of a controversial September 25 referendum on Kurdish secession that Baghdad had declared illegal.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.By allowing Iran to facilitate an Iraqi takeover of Kirkuk, Khedery added, "We have undermined our secular moderate, Western-leaning Kurdish allies in the Middle East. officials have long sought to convince the Kurds to postpone a referendum declaring independence from Iraq. Iraqi police monitor as people gather in the street in the city of Kirkuk to celebrate on Oct. diplomat most closely focused on Iraq and ISIS policy, was unable to convince the Kurds to continue postponing the vote, which finally occurred in September.Our foes will be emboldened, our allies shaken." U. officials, not authorized to be named speaking publicly, disputed the idea that Iran got the better of the Trump administration. 18, 2017, after Iraqi government forces retook almost all the territory disputed between Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdish region, crippling its hopes of independence after a controversial referendum. Once the Kurds voted overwhelmingly in favor of separating, American officials declared the referendum illegitimate, in keeping with their policy of trying to maintain Iraq as a single country. The referendum put the focus on Kirkuk, a multi-ethnic city rich with oil fields that historically has been part of the Kurdish region.