Days after the killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani by the U.S., Iraq is now closer to rejecting American and other foreign troops.
Iraqi lawmakers on Sunday voted to "expel" U.S. military there, according to multiple reports.
If the more than 5,000 U.S. troops were to leave, it could greatly hamper the fight against the terrorist group ISIS, reported the Associated Press, but a report in London's The Guardian suggested the ouster was unlikely to happen and Reuters noted the resolution passed on Sunday rejecting foreign military is not -- yet -- binding as a law would be.
Iraqi officials had earlier condemned the attack on its soil, saying it "considers it a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and of the conditions governing the presence of US forces in Iraq."
"The thing to watch in the coming weeks is will there be political will in Iraq to reject the U.S. troop presence, the training mission, the anti-ISIS fight that has been there since they were invited back in the late summer of 2014? That is the indicator to watch," Douglas A. Ollivant, an A.S.U. Future of War senior fellow at New America told PBS Newshour's Hari Sreenivasan earlier over the weekend in an interview.
"If we can get past this current hurdle, this current tension in U.S.-Iraqi relations and rebut, retain the U.S. troop presence, then I think we can hope to smooth out relations in the longer run. But if that goes away, if those troops are asked by the Iraqis to leave, then we're in a very different situation," he said.
Iran has vowed to retaliate for the killing of its top military official, and the war of words between the nation and the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has increased over the weekend.
Iran said it was withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal -- the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action -- and will no longer commit to "any limits on the level of uranium enrichment, stockpile of nuclear fuel and also nuclear research and development," according to the Tehran Times.
Also, the top military adviser in Iran, Maj. Gen. Hossein Dehghan, told CNN that the response to the killing would be a "military" action.
"It might be argued that there could be proxy operations. We can say America, Mr. Trump, has taken action directly against us -- so we take direct action against America," said the Iranian adviser.
Trump posted over Twitter that "Iran is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets as revenge for our ridding the world of their terrorist leader" -- Qassem Soleimani -- and Trump named dozens of sites the U.S. could strike "very fast and very hard" if its interests were attacked - to which an Iranian official called Trump a "terrorist in a suit."
Trump on late Sunday afternoon also upped the tough talk over Twitter, saying that "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."
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier said the assassination of the Iranian commander makes the U.S. safer.
"We've all known about Qassem Soleimani for a long time. He's been a terrorist. He's a designated terrorist. He's someone who has afflicted many deaths on Americans, over 600 in Iraq and countless other places. He was even connected to what happened in Beirut so many years ago," he told NBC News' "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd, according to a transcript of the interview.
Others, however, including several European allies, have reportedly been critical of the action, saying it pushes the longtime rivals closer to an all-out war.
"Look, we are not safer because Donald Trump had Soleimani killed. We are much closer to the edge of war. The question is why now? Why not a month ago? Why not a month from now? And the administration simply can't keep its story straight," said Democratic presidential hopeful and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren to Todd on Sunday.
"The job of the president is to keep us safer. The job of the president is not to move us to the edge of war," Warren added.
This story has been updated.