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He said the troops would soon be moving to the huge Al Asad Airbase in Iraq's Anbar province and that their new tasks would include protecting Israel and keeping an eye on Iran, which his administration has accused of being the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and of wanting to acquire nuclear weapons.

The United States could rely heavily on intelligence work in Afghanistan, he said, and respond to developments in Syria from USA bases in neighbouring Iraq.

"We'll come back if we have to", he said.

As President Donald Trump is expected to call for an end America's ongoing wars overseas, his top general in the Mideast said he was not consulted or warned Trump would declare a US troop withdrawal from Syria.

"And one of the reasons I want to keep it is because I want to be looking a little bit at Iran because Iran is a real problem", the president said.

The amendment acknowledged progress against Daesh and al Qaeda in Syria and Afghanistan but warned that "a precipitous withdrawal" could destabilize the region and create a vacuum that could be filled by Iran or Russian Federation.

Trump is expected to discuss foreign policy in the address to a joint session of Congress, including declaring the Islamic State militant group all but defeated. US policy has been to keep troops in place until the extremists are eradicated.

"We do have to keep pressure on this network", Voted told senators.

Trump announced in December that "all" USA forces would be leaving Syria "now".

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While the amendment is a nonbinding provision without the force of law, it sent a clear message to the White House that any plans to immediately pull troops out of war zones could jeopardize the fight against groups like the so-called Islamic State, leave Kurdish allies on the ground defenseless, and embolden USA adversaries like Russian Federation and Iran.

Abadi added that the US participation in the anti-Islamic State worldwide coalition is mainly meant to serve the purposes of logistic support, intelligence and military training, not to endanger Iraqi sovereignty.

"I don't know how many times you can say this but I prefer the president would stay off Twitter - particularly with regard to these important national security issues", Sen.

President Trump speaks at a hanger rally at al-Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018.

"We got to get out of these endless wars and bring our folks back home", he said at another point.

"The Iraqi constitution rejects the use of Iraq as a base for hitting or attacking a neighboring country", the Baghdad leader said. A scheduled meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi was scrapped and the two leaders spoke over the phone instead.

"We're at 99 percent right now, we'll be at 100", he said on CBS' "Face the Nation". Iraqi military personnel discovered and managed to defuse three Grad rockets pointed at the base set with electronic timers.

"With newly surfaced reports suggesting that Iraqi politicians are undertaking initiatives to force the troop withdrawal, Marandi told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou that it's uncertain what response Trump's remarks will generate, given the fractured status of the Iraqi government".


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