US forces entered Iraq in coordination with Baghdad: PM Adil Abdul Mahdi

A convoy of United States military vehicles near Bardarash, Iraq, on Monday after leaving northern Syria on Monday, October 21, 2019. (Photo: CreditCreditSafin Hamed/Agence France-Presse)

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SULAIMANI — The entry of US forces into Iraqi territory had been previously approved by Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi, a source from the prime minister's media office said.

Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi met with the US Ambassador to Iraq Matthew Tueller on Sunday (October 20) to discuss the move.

“We will not allow any American force to enter Iraq without permission. The [US] forces entered Iraq today in coordination and with permission from us,” the media office quoted Abdul Mahdi as saying

US troops crossed into Sahela border crossing Dohuk governorate as a part of the withdrawal from northeast Syria ordered by the President Donald Trump.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Saturday that approximately 1,000 US troops would retreat from northeastern Syria and were expected to move to western Iraq to continue the campaign against Islamic State (ISIS) militants and “to help defend Iraq.”

The US and Turkey signed a ceasefire agreement on Thursday. Under its terms, the SDF would withdraw from within 20 miles of the Turkish border and the US would not impose any further sanctions on Ankara.

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) rolled back from Ras al-Ayn city in northeastern Syria on Sunday, the head of the Press Office Mustafa Bali said.

“As part of the agreement to pause military operations with Turkey with American mediation. Today, we have evacuated the city of Ras Al-Ain from all SDF fighters. We don't have any more fighters in the city,” Bali tweeted on Sunday.

During an interview with Ronahi TV close to the SDF, The SDF Commander Mazloum Kobani said on October 17 that the SDF would accept a ceasefire agreement with Turkey in northern Syria and do what is necessary to make it work,

Kobani added the agreement was limited to the northern Syria border areas running between the towns of Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad.

“It [the agreement] is just the beginning and will not be able to achieve the goals of Turkey, which launched an incursion into northern Syria last week,” Kobani added.

(NRT Digital Media)