Baghdad, Oct 23 US Defence Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday made a surprise visit to Baghdad, two days after a convoy of US troops withdrawing from Syria crossed into Iraqi Kurdistan.The Iraqi government has sought international help to push US out of Iraq.
US troops from Syria entered western Iraq without authorization, and Baghdad is now taking legal action against the uninvited presence.
Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi reaffirmed that Baghdad never granted permission for US forces to stay in Iraq and said, “We ask the international community and the United Nations to perform their roles in this matter.”
Esper held meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Najah al-Shammari at the headquarters of the Iraqi ministry of defence to discuss joint action to combat the Islamic State terror organisation.
The US official is scheduled to meet with the troops that entered the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region on Monday.
The Russian military police and Syrian regime border guards agreed Tuesday to clear the Syrian People’s Protection Units (YPG) from the 30-kilometer deep buffer zone sought by Ankara within a period of 150 hours.
Turkey launched an offensive in the northeastern Syrian border on 9 October shortly after the US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of the remaining troops from the region.
Ankara considers the YPG to be a terror group indistinguishable from the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), a guerrilla group widely listed as a terror organization .