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Trump says will obey international law on targeting cultural sites

Published: Updated:

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday told reporters he would obey international law on avoiding targeting cultural sites in military attacks, walking back a threat he made to Iran days earlier.

Trump on Saturday said the United States has targeted 52 Iranian sites, including ones that are very important to Iranian culture, and would strike if Iran attacks Americans or US assets in response to the US killing of its military commander, Qassem Soleimani.

Attacking cultural sites, though, would break international conventions and treaties, and the threat sparked concern around the world.

Meanwhile, Trump also said that a US troop withdrawal from Iraq at this stage would be the “worst thing” for the country, after Baghdad’s parliament demanded the expulsion of American forces.

“At some point we want to get out, but this isn’t the right point,” Trump said. “It’s the worst thing that could happen to Iraq.”

Iraqi lawmakers have urged the government to expel the 5,200 US troops stationed in the country in response to the drone attack that killed Soleimani and top Iraqi military figure Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes.