Shafaq News/ The Sovereignty and Progress Alliance, a Sunni-majority bloc in the Iraqi Parliament, on Sunday dismissed allegations that Sunni and Kurdish lawmakers obstructed a session held to discuss the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.
Lawmaker Nihal al-Shammari told Shafaq News Agency that the accusations were "incorrect and baseless," pointing out that even members of the Coordination Framework, an alliance of mainly Iran-backed Shiite blocs, did not attend the session.
"The Coordination Framework has 180 MPs, but less than 60 attended," al-Shammari said. "The rest of the attendees were from young and independent forces."
Al-Shammari emphasized that the boycott of most lawmakers on Saturday reflects their preference for "dialogue and negotiation over escalation". He added that the US troops were invited to Iraq after an agreement and should not be expelled unilaterally.
The controversy erupted after more than 100 Iraqi lawmakers signed a petition on Thursday demanding legislation to expel foreign forces from the country. The signatories called for an extraordinary session to enact the law and enforce a previous parliamentary resolution.
On January 5, 2020, the Iraqi Parliament voted to expel foreign troops from the country in response to the US airstrike that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis near Baghdad Airport.
The recent developments follow the US airstrike that killed Kata'ib Hezbollah commander Abu Baker al-Saidi in eastern Baghdad last Wednesday.