Breaking news is that the Iraqi parliament has passed a non-binding resolution calling for the withdrawal of foreign troops:

The non-binding resolution was passed by the Iraqi parliament after the caretaker Prime Minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, called for an end to the foreign military presence in a speech to MPs.

The resolution calls on the government to revoke its request for assistance from the international coalition fighting IS due to "the end of military operations in Iraq and the achievement of victory".

It says "the Iraqi government must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason".


Ahead of the vote, the prime minister said the US military presence in the country should be ended as soon as possible.

Ending the US military presence in Iraq was "better for reorganising healthier and correct relationships with the US and the rest of the states", Mr Abdul Mahdi said.

Since the Iraqi government and parliament seem to concur on this, unless it is a face-saving measure for (internal) public consumption that will somehow not be translated into a request to foreign governments, it looks like the US military presence in Iraq is under threat.

I'm curious however what is the legal nature of this presence? Are there any US bases in Iraq with long-term leases, for example?

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    If you are a guest in a country and you begin bombing it however it pleases you, behaving like a terrorist, good luck with any lease you may have on whatever.
    – motoDrizzt
    Commented Jan 5, 2020 at 17:27
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    @motoDrizzt: The US and Cuba have had more difficult relationship than the US and Iraq (post Saddam). Yet the US still has a base in Guantanamo. So, I don't think the question is pointless. Unless Iraq wants another war with the US, the legal framework matters... Commented Jan 5, 2020 at 17:51
  • US and Cuba and Guantanamo like in "Can you pleaes get out of our country? No, and we can't care less of what you want about your territory" Is it that what you mean with "Yet the US still has a base in Guantanamo"? And that's why the next sentence is "Unless Iraq wants another war with the US, the legal framework matters" So the legal framework with US is "I do what I want, I even bomb your country whenever I want, and if you disagree with that I bomb you twice and declare war"? That's sure a great way to put down a legal framework.
    – motoDrizzt
    Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 8:19
  • it looks like the US military presence in Iraq is under threat — how so? Why would they need Iraqi permission?
    – gerrit
    Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 10:44

1 Answer 1


Well, perhaps not literal leases, but Trump has now threatened Iraq with not leaving unless the Iraqis pay back the US for cost of building at least one base (and also threatened them with [other] economic sanctions):

"We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that's there. It cost billions of dollars to build, long before my time. We're not leaving unless they pay us back for it," Trump told reporters on Air Force One.

Trump said that if Iraq asked U.S. forces to leave and it was not done on a friendly basis, "we will charge them sanctions like they've never seen before ever. It'll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame."

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