Iraq should brace itself for sanctions that’ll make the ones placed on Iran look pale in comparison if it kicks out the US troops without first covering the costs the US spent on its airbase there, US President Donald Trump said.
Trump threatens Iraq with ‘very big sanctions’ unless it pays BILLIONS back for an air base if US troops forced to withdraw
“We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build, long before my time. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it,” Trump told reporters on board of the Air Force One on Sunday.
The punitive measures that the US is ready to slap on its supposed ally in the fight against the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) will be even harsher than the crippling sanctions already in effect against Tehran, the US leader said.
“If they do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”
Trump’s dire warning to Iraq comes after Iraqi MPs passed a non-binding resolution, championed by the country’s caretaker prime minister, and asking the Iraqi government to expel foreign troops by cancelling a request for military assistance from the US-led coalition.
The resolution, adopted earlier on Sunday, envisions that some of the foreign troops might still stay in Iraq for training purposes, but the number of foreign instructors deemed necessary should be reported back by the Iraqi authorities.
‘We are not allowed to touch Iran’s cultural sites? Does not work that way’
As he was unleashing his fiery tirade, Trump doubled down on his threat to wipe out Iranian cultural sites in a retaliation for potential future attacks from Tehran, which vowed to avenge the assassination of its top general, Qassem Soleimani, by the US.
Accusing Iran of “torturing” and “maiming” American soldiers in suicide attacks and by planting roadside bombs, Trump suggested the attacks on the US troops justify a potential war crime – the destruction of a nation’s cultural heritage.
“They’re allowed to kill our people. They’re allowed to torture and maim our people. They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural site? It doesn’t work that way.”