Iraq contradicts Pentagon, says US forces not approved to stay

 Iraq contradicts Pentagon, says US forces not approved to stay
© Getty

Iraq's military said Tuesday that U.S. troops that entered the country after withdrawing from Syria can't remain there. 

“All U.S. forces that withdrew from Syria received approval to enter the Kurdistan Region so that they may be transported outside Iraq. There is no permission granted for these forces to stay inside Iraq,” the Iraqi military said in a statement, according to Reuters.

The statement contradicts the Defense Department's announcement that many of the almost 1,000 departing U.S. troops were slated to go to Iraq to fight ISIS and "help defend Iraq”. 

ADVERTISEMENT

A senior Pentagon official told Reuters that the plans could change.

Critics say President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE's decision to remove U.S. forces from northern Syria opened the door to a Turkish offensive against Syrian Kurds in the region. A cease-fire between Turkey and the Kurds, which aided the U.S. in the fight against ISIS, is expected to end on Tuesday.

The president, however, has repeatedly stated that he hopes to get the U.S. out of "endless wars" and bring troops home. 

More than 5,000 U.S. troops are already in Iraq, according to Reuters.

The Hill has reached out to the Pentagon for comment.