By Associated Press - Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The head of a powerful Iraqi militia that enjoys backing from Iran is threatening to expel U.S. forces from Iraq after an unannounced visit by President Donald Trump to American troops stationed in the country.

Qais Khazali, the head of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia, promised on Twitter that Iraq’s parliament would vote to expel U.S. forces from Iraq, or the militia and others would force them out by “other means.”

Trump spent three hours at a U.S. air base in western Iraq with troops. He did not meet with any Iraqi officials.

Khazali is an avowed opponent of the U.S. who rose to prominence as a leader in the Shiite insurgency against the U.S. occupation. He was detained by British and U.S. forces in Iraq from 2007 to 2010.

Asaib Ahl al-Haq is represented in Iraq’s parliament by the Binaa bloc, one of the two rival coalitions which together control nearly all the seats in the lawmaking body.

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