US troops who crossed into Iraq as part of President Trump’s pullout from Syria do not have permission to stay and can only remain in the war-torn country while they’re passing through, the Iraqi military said Tuesday.

“All US forces that withdrew from Syria received approval to enter the Kurdistan Region so that they may be transported outside Iraq. There is no permission granted for these forces to stay inside Iraq,” the Iraqi military said.

The military’s statement contradicted the Pentagon’s announcement that all of the nearly 1,000 troops withdrawing from northern Syria were expected to move to western Iraq to continue the campaign against ISIS and to help defend Iraq.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said, however, that Washington aimed eventually to transport the troops withdrawing from Syria back to the US to fulfill Trump’s vow to bring them home.

With Reuters