US troop ouster from Iraq

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Baghdad

Iraq’s outgoing prime minister said on Wednesday it was up to the next government to see through the parliament’s decision to oust US troops. Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s comments came ahead of planned protests against the American military presence in Iraq called for by an influential cleric. Washington has responded to Iraq’s requests to initiate troop withdrawals with blunt refusal. And on Wednesday, US officials said the US military is resuming operations against militants in Iraq and is working to soon restart training Iraqi forces. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss decisions not yet made public. Meanwhile, Qatar said it was seeking to play a mediating role amid escalating tensions following a US drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad. AP Abdul Mahdi’s government is in caretaker status following his resignation in December under pressure from mass demonstrations.—Agencies