U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday told Iranian-backed militias in Iraq to “go home” during a joint meeting with leaders from Saudi Arabia and Iraq, Reuters reported.
“Iranian militias that are in Iraq, now that the fight against Daesh and ISIS is coming to a close, those militias need to go home. The foreign fighters in Iraq need to go home and allow the Iraqi people to regain control,” Tillerson said at a joint news conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir in Doha.
Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, reportedly criticized Tillerson’s remarks as influenced by Iran’s oil-rich regional rival Saudi Arabia.
“Exactly what country is it that Iraqis who rose up to defend their homes against ISIS return to?,” Zarif said in a tweet. “Shameful US FP (foreign policy), dictated by petrodollars.”
Meanwhile, Syria's largest oil field was seized from the Islamic State terror group on Sunday by the U.S.-led coalition, dealing another blow to the extremist group after the loss of its de-facto capital last week.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forced, with air support from the U.S.-led coalition, said it captured the Al-Omar field in a "swift and wide military operation," adding that some militants have taken cover in oil company houses nearby, where clashes are underway.
The U.S.-led coalition confirmed the SDF had retaken the oil field, and that Syrian government troops were two files away from the fields, located in the oil-rich Deir el-Zour province along the border with Iraq.
Syrian troops, backed by Russian warplanes and Iranian-sponsored militias, have retaken nearly all of the provincial capital of Deir el-Zour, as well as the town of Mayadeen, which is across the Euphrates River from the Al-Omar field.
The Associated Press contributed to this report