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The Latest: Iraq says foreign forces may not fight in Iraq

June 18, 2019

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s prime minister says foreign troops and local militia operating inside his country are forbidden from confronting each other and must operate under the supervision and control of the Iraqi armed forces.

Adel Abdul-Mahdi’s order Tuesday appeared to make clear that Iraqi soil may not be used as a theater for confrontation between the United States and Iran. The U.S. has more than 5,000 troops stationed in Iraq, while Iran backs powerful local militias, known as the Popular Mobilization Forces.

Iraq has close relations with both the U.S. and Iran.

Tensions have risen to new levels between the United States and Iran. The U.S. has blamed Iran for attacks on two tankers in the Persian Gulf. Iran denies that. The U.S. has since ordered 1,000 more troops to the Middle East.

Tehran has said it could end its compliance with the nuclear deal with Western powers that has prevented it from enriching uranium beyond certain levels.

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