Trump says US troops won’t quit Iraq unless it pays for ‘money we put in’

<p style="text-align: left;">US President Donald Trump says American troops should not leave Iraq unless Baghdad pays for &amp;ldquo;the money we put in&amp;rdquo; the country over the past several years, defying calls by Iraqi officials for US troops to withdraw.

&ldquo;If we leave ... you have to pay us for the money we put in," Trump said Friday in an interview with Fox News at the White House.

When host Laura Ingraham asked how Trump planned to collect money from Iraq, the president said: "Well, we have a lot of their money right now. We have a lot of their money. We have $35 billion of their money right now sitting in an account. And I think they&rsquo;ll agree to pay. I think they&rsquo;ll agree to pay. Otherwise, we&rsquo;ll stay there."

"We built one of the world's most expensive airport facilities, anywhere in the world," Trump told Ingraham. "I mean, I wish we had it in New York. I wish we had it in Washington."

Trump had tweeted last week: "The United States has paid Iraq Billions of Dollars a year, for many years.

Earlier this week, Iraqi caretaker Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi called for American troops to leave the country after the country&rsquo;s parliament approved a resolution that called for the expulsion of all foreign forces from Iraq.

The vote came two days after the US military - acting on Trump&rsquo;s order - launched a drone strike on top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani upon his arrival in the Iraqi capital at the invitation of the Baghdad government.

The attack also claimed the lives of senior Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and a number of their companions.

Iran subsequently conducted retaliatory missile strikes on two American bases in Iraq.

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