The purpose of this post is to provide some very basic facts about today's vote by the Iraqi parliament, given the extreme noise level from the MSM.

The Iraq parliament convened today and by a vote of 170-0 called for the "end of any foreign presence" on Iraqi soil and to "prevent the use of Iraqi airspace, soil and water for any reasons."  The Iraq parliament has 328 members.  The majority of Sunni and Kurdish members were not present for the vote, but there was a quorum and the majority carried.  It is now up to the Prime Minister to decide whether to sign the law.  The vote was called by the largest bloc in the Iraq parliament, Fatah, which is aligned with the Popular Mobilization Forces.

Adel Abdul-Mahdi is the caretaker prime minister, having resigned in November 2019 in the wake of widespread protests over corruption, widening wealth gap and Iranian influence.  In a statement following the killing of General Soleimani, he reported he was scheduled to meet with the Quds Force head to discuss Iran's response to a recent Saudi request for dialogue.

Under the 2014 agreement in which American troops were invited to return to Iraq to help in the fight against the Islamic State, a foreign troop withdrawal begins after one-year notice.  If the letter of the agreement is maintained, US troops will remain in Iraq for the foreseeable future.  But that is the legal status, not the reality on the ground, which is yet to be determined.  There are currently more than 5,200 US troops in Iraq.

There is no Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the United States and Iraq–just the invitation from 2014.  The US and Iraq have been in talks this year on reaching a SOFA, but there is no legal agreement in place.  When President Trump announced the withdrawal of US forces from northeast Syria in late 2019, Iraq gave the US four weeks to allow US forces to be in Iraq in transit.  The Iraq government rejected the idea of the US using Iraq as a staging area or intelligence hub for operations into Syria.

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