Iraq's caretaker prime minister has asked Washington to work out a road map for an American troop withdrawal, but the U.S. State Department bluntly rejected the request.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi is showing his determination to push ahead with demands for U.S. troops to leave Iraq after the Jan. 3 American strike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would continue its mission to help train Iraqi security forces and counter the Islamic State group.

Meanwhile, thousands of anti-government protesters rallied in Baghdad and southern Iraq.

Many want both Iran and America to leave Iraq, reflecting the anger and frustration over the two countries' trading blows on Iraqi soil.

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