US dismisses Iraq request to work on a troop withdrawal plan

Iraq’s caretaker prime minister has asked Washington to start working out a road map for an American troop withdrawal. But the U.S. State Department bluntly rejected the request, saying the two sides should instead talk about how to “recommit” to their partnership. The request from Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi pointed to his determination to push ahead with demands for U.S. troops to leave Iraq after by last week’s American strike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Meanwhile, thousands of anti-government protesters gathered in Baghdad and southern Iraq. Many of them want both Iran and America to leave Iraq, reflecting anger and frustration over their trading blows on Iraqi soil.