BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:20 P.M.) – The U.S. troops that recently withdrew from Syria will have four weeks to leave Iraq, the Iraqi Minister of Defense Najah Al-Shammari told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

According to Al-Shammari, the U.S. troops that withdrew from Syria do not have permission to remain in Iraq; however, the country will give them a four-week-long grace period for ‘transiting’ purposes.

Al-Shammari made the remarks to The Associated Press following a meeting in Baghdad with visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who arrived as Iraqi leaders chafed over reports the U.S. may want to increase the number of troops based in Iraq, at least temporarily.

While the U.S. has a military presence inside of Iraq, Baghdad has been wary about letting more American troops stay in the country for purposes of deterring Iran in the region.

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