Iraqi authorities deny talks with American troops in Anbar

FILE PHOTO: U.S. forces are seen at the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) headquarters after it was hit by Turkish airstrikes in Mount Karachok near Malikiya, Syria April 25, 2017. REUTERS/ Rodi Said/File Photo

Anbar ( – An Iraqi provincial council denied on Monday media reports about talks with the American troops stationed in Anbar province.

“The local government in Anbar is not authorized to hold any meetings with the U.S. troops stationed in the country,” Farhan Mohamed el-Duleimi, member of Anbar Provincial Council, told the privately-owned Al Ahd news website, stressing that the central government in Baghdad “has the exclusive right to do so under a previous agreement with the American troops.”

“The presence of American troops in the country is a sovereign decision and the local government (of Anbar) cannot take any decision on that score,” Duleimi added.

He went on to say that the provincial council of Anbar has “no any information about the number of American troops stationed at the Ain Assad Air Base in western Anbar and the Royal Air Force Station Habbaniya in eastern Ramadi.”

The United States has an estimated 5,200 troops in Iraq as part of a security agreement with the Iraqi government to advise, assist, and support the Iraqi army in the fight against the Islamic State.

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