The United States President Donald Trump on January 5 reportedly threatened sanctions against Baghdad after Iraq Parliament called on US troops to leave the country. Trump also vowed 'major retaliation' if Tehran launched attacks to avenge the killing of Qassem Soleimani. The US President further said that if troops did leave the country, Baghdad would have to pay Washington for the cost of the airbase there.
In an interview with an international media outlet, Trump said that the US has extraordinarily expensive airbase which cost billions of dollars to build. He further added that US won't leave unless Iraq payback for it. Trump also said that US will charge Iraq with sanctions like they've never seen before if they asked US forces to leave and if it was not done on a friendly basis.
After the Green Zone in Baghdad endured yet another attack on Sunday night, Trump immediately took to Twitter and flagged yet another warning to Iran. In the tweet, Trump said that the US will “quickly and fully” strike back if any of the US personnel are targeted in any part of the world. Adding to the warning, Trump also stated that the US could even retaliate in a "disproportionate” manner.
These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner. Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2020
Tensions between Iran and the United States escalated dramatically after a US air raid killed Iranian military commander Soleimani. The strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, or PMF, the officials said. On January 3, Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei declared three days of mourning for Soleimani, and, threatened the US saying "a harsh retaliation is waiting."
Donald Trump has time and again showed a willingness to end the US military presence in the area. "We’re getting out. Let someone else fight over this long blood-stained sand. The job of our military is not to police the world," he had declared back in 2019. However, with concerns of the bloody aftermath of this attack, the killing of Suleimani is likely to be a climacteric moment for the US in the Middle East.