PM says ready to deal with repercussions of U.S. troops withdrawal from Syria

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi

Baghdad ( – Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said on Sunday that his country had taken all necessary measures to deal with repercussions of the U.S. decision to withdraw troops from Syria.

The premier made the remarks during the weekly meeting of the National Security Council, according to the National Iraqi News Agency.

Abdul-Mahdi said that security measures had been beefed up to prevent militants of the terrorist Islamic State group from infiltrating into Iraqi territories.

The premier ordered outlining a security plan and intensifying efforts to maintain Iraq’s stability and sovereignty, pointing out that the U.S. side reiterated commitment to reinforcing cooperation with Iraq and continuing to support Iraqi forces in the near future.

The meeting also reviewed a report on the security situation in protest-hit Basra and measures taken to improve the public services offered there.

Earlier in the day, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said President Donald Trump campaigned two years ago to withdraw troops from Syria and will continue because the move is popular – even if it led to the resignations of his Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and a special envoy to the region.

“This is not a snap decision. And it’s not a surprise to anybody because it’s exactly what the president said he was going to do,” Mulvaney told “Fox News Sunday.” “If a Cabinet secretary simply has such a misalignment with the president’s priorities that he cannot serve him, that is the right reason to leave.”

Mattis announced his resignation Thursday, with plans to leave at the end of February because of several policy positions where he disagreed with Trump.

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