Can Iraq’s Parliament actually force US troops to leave?

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa Leave a Comment

Context Baghdad’s parliament has agreed a draft bill calling on foreign forces to leave Iraq. Few are in doubt that the law is aimed at US forces following the high-profile assassination of Iran’s most powerful and influential military general Qassem Suleimani and Iraq’s unofficial kingmaker. Suleimani was renowned for arbitrating between the Iraqi Shiite parties whenever they clashed with one …

Iraq Elections 2018: What you need to know

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

[optin-monster-shortcode id=uwscubl6egyaovvwttxm] Sadr’s victory is more fanfare than substance. His Sa’iroon coalition only secured 54 seats while his nearest rival Hadi al-Amiri secured 47. Even if he allies with third-placed outgoing Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi who has 42 seats, he is well short of the numbers required to significantly influence policy.   Sadr’s 54 seats is a loose coalition with …

Iran’s Sadr problem

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Sadr’s resurgence complicates the dynamics of Iraqi politics not just for Iran, but also for the Iraqi religious establishment. For Iran, Sadr has always been a useful kingmaker. In 2006, Maliki was short of the required MPs to form a government and could not convince Sadr to back him following a brutal war between them that engulfed Sadr City in …

Why Erdogan lambasted Iraq’s Abadi

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Erdogan had harsh words for Iraqi Prime Minsiter Haider al-Abadi. On the diplomatic front, the Turkish President may well have transgressed on Iraq’s sovereignty and there are legitimate question marks over the presence of Turkish troops on Iraqi soil. However, in the wider context, Erdogan has simply described the current status quo, and called out the Iraqi demands for what they …