Iraqi Government Denied that Joint Operations with US had Resumed
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Iraqi Government Denied that Joint Operations with US had Resumed

The New York Times, citing two American military officials, reported Thursday that the US had resumed the operations. But the Iraqi prime minister's spokesman on military affairs told AFP the coalition did not have permission from Baghdad to carry out any joint missions. "The joint operations have not resumed and we have not given our authorization," said Abdulkarim Khalaf. Khalaf said the Iraqi government had ordered the coalition to halt its joint operations following the US assassination of top Iranian anti-terror commander, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Popular Mobilization Units (PMU). Last month, another US airstrike killed 25 members of PMU in the Arab country's west. The second was a US precision drone strike outside Baghdad airport on January 3, which killed General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The Pentagon said it had no information to provide concerning a resumption. The US-led coalition's spokesman in Baghdad also declined to comment. Iraqi lawmakers this month also urged the government to expel all foreign forces deployed in the country, which include around 5,200 US troops.

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