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Israeli strikes raise questions about US presence in Iraq

A suspected Israeli strike against an Iran-backed convoy in Iraq has raised political doubts about the long-term American troop presence there.
Members of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (MPF) carry the coffin of a fighter, who was killed by an unmanned aircraft close to the Syrian border in Anbar, during his funeral in Najaf, Iraq August 26, 2019. REUTERS/Alaa al-Marjani - RC15DE813700

The likely spillover of an expanding tit-for-tat between Israel and Iran into Iraq has left the Donald Trump administration nervous about sustaining a long-term US presence in the war-weary nation.

A suspected Israeli strike against an Iran-backed convoy crossing the border between Iraq and Syria on Sunday night prompted the Pentagon to rush out a rare statement denying American involvement. The attack on the convoy, which was en route to Damascus, Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) bases and ammunition dumps, killed nine Shiite militants.

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