Trump wants U.S. military in Iraq to 'watch Iran'

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He blamed the intelligence services for America's involvement in Iraq.

Iraq's constitution stipulates that its territory will not be used to commit transgressions against any other nation, deputy parliament speaker Hassan Karim al-Kaabi pointed out, adding that the parliament will work on legislation to kick USA troops out.

Watch above, via CBS News, and read the full transcript of the interview here.

"This is the process working the way it was meant to, for the (president) to raise these issues and then discussions take place", Risch said.

United States President Donald Trump says he wants American forces to stay in Iraq in order to keep an eye on Iran. "Iraq does not want to be a party or axis to any conflict between multiple countries".

Trump's comments to CBS could undermine those negotiations by inflaming fears among Iraqis that USA military activity in Iraq was aimed at checking Iran, and not defeating ISIL, the Times said.

"It is of fundamental interest for Iraq to have good relations with Iran" and other neighbouring countries, Salih said. Iran has been deepening its influence in Iraq since the U.S.'s 2003 invasion.

In an interview with CBS News, President Trump said "We've been there for 19 years, almost, we are fighting very well". "Trump did not ask us to keep USA troops to watch Iran".

In the CBS interview, Trump said the US has an "incredible base" in Iraq that he intends to keep, "because I want to be able to watch Iran".

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In this January 27, 2018, file photo, U.S. Army soldiers speak to families in rural Anbar province on a reconnaissance patrol near a coalition outpost in western Iraq.

"You have a young and energetic gentleman but you have other people within that same group that have been very very - if you talk about democracy - it's really democracy in action", Trump said.

During his roughly three-hour visit, his first to troops in a combat zone, Trump broke tradition set by previous US presidents by not meeting with Iraqi leaders.

Iraq's government has been struggling to balance its relationships with Iran and the United States, its two biggest allies, as tensions between Tehran and Washington have risen under Trump's administration.

However, the United States will not give up its bases in Iraq, he said. "It is a vicious country that kills many people", Trump said.

Separately, the USA called on nations around the world to take back their citizens who fought for Islamic State and are now being held by the SDF in Syria. The US-led coalition, known as the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) had "low confidence" in those estimates as of last July, the report said.

Former Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken said Trump's statement was "probably the worst way to get the Iraqis to actually support us keeping some kind of presence in Iraq".

USA military commanders rely heavily on Syrian forces to gather intelligence from information and material gathered from the battlefield, but also a wide-range of informers with firsthand knowledge about ISIS operations.

The troop withdrawals vote came as part of a broader debate over USA policy in the Middle East, and legislation that would specifically allow localities to refuse to do business with organizations that boycott Israel.

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