Iraqi security body discusses US withdrawal from Syria

Iraqi security body discusses US withdrawal from Syria

Baghdad: An Iraqi government security body held a meeting on Sunday chaired by Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, to discuss security issues including the withdrawal of US forces from the neighbouring Syria.

The National Security Council “confirmed that the government is carrying out its duties to protect the country and take precautions to prevent any possible consequences for the (US) decision,” according to Abdul Mahdi’s office statement, Xinhua reported.

Abdul Mahdi, who is also commander-in-chief of the Iraqi forces, asserted on “intensifying efforts by our heroic forces to prevent any terrorist attempt by Daesh (Islamic State group) gang,” it added.

The Iraqi National Security Council, established in 2004, is a body in charge of coordinating Iraq’s national security, intelligence and foreign policy strategy.

The meeting came a day after Abdul Mahdi held a phone call with US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who explained the details of the scheduled pullout from Syria.

Pompeo also confirmed that the US is still committed to fighting the Islamic State (IS) and terrorism in Iraq and other areas, according to a statement issued Saturday by Abdul Mahdi’s office.

The meeting also came days after US President Donald Trump declared a plan to withdraw all US troops from Syria, citing the full defeat of IS militants in the country.

These troops were part of a US-led coalition which has been fighting and conducting airstrikes against IS targets in both Iraq and Syria.