Pentagon top official makes surprise Baghdad visit
Acting Pentagon chiefs' surprised Baghdad visit again raised ambiguities about US policy towards Iraq.
Iran Press/Middle East: Acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan arrived in Baghdad on an unannounced visit Tuesday for talks on the sensitive issue of a continued troop presence following withdrawal from neighboring Syria, according to AFP.
Shanahan is keen to reassure Iraqi leaders after the US President Donald Trump angered many by saying he wanted to keep troops at the Al-Asad airbase, northwest of Baghdad, to keep an eye on Iran.
Iraqi President Barham Salih recently said that US president Donald Trump did not ask Iraq's permission to watch Iran.
He emphasized that the Iraqi constitution rejects the use of Iraq as a base for hitting or attacking a neighbouring country.
His reaction on January 28 came a day after Trump told CBS that US troops would leave Syria and Afghanistan but stay on in Iraq, partly 'to be looking a little bit at Iran.'
Trump also made an unannounced stop at Iraq's Ain al-Asad base on Christmas 2019, in a visit that drew fire from Iraqi officials and their counterparts in Iran and other neighboring countries. 208/ 211 /104