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Despite tough talk, US unlikely to take on Iranian forces in Iraq

The new US administration has adopted strict stances toward Iran, but any military clash between the United States and the factions Iran supports in Iraq would only increase Iranian influence.
U.S. President Donald Trump walks out from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., en route to CPAC, February 24, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas - RTS1060Z

US President Donald Trump and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi have spoken over the phone about the Iranian threat in the region, according to a White House statement issued Feb. 10.

On Feb. 1, Trump tweeted, “Iran is rapidly taking over more and more of Iraq.” Iranian influence in Iraq has risen since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, and especially after the withdrawal of the last US troops at the end of 2011.

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