Iraq Says US Forces Will Never Leave Middle East

A US armored vehicle at the front line between the US-backed Syrian Manbij Military Council and the Turkish-backed fighters, in Manbij, Syria, on April 4, 2018 / Photo by AP

An Iraqi lawmaker has described Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US forces from Syria as Washington’s new tactic, saying it is an illusion to think the decision would eventually result in the pullout of all US troops from the region.

The remarks were made by Mahmoud al-Rubaie, a member of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq Party, in an interview with Dijlah TV satellite network.

He also said American troops failed to do anything when ISIS terrorists entered Iraq and occupied large parts of the country.

Rubaie underlined that the resistance front thwarted the United States’ plan to remain in Iraq after occupying the country.

“The US seeks to create failed and tension-stricken countries which need the US presence in order to survive,” the party member said.

“The Americans only liberated two cities of Mosul and Ramadi after destroying them,” he noted.

“The US troopers targeted Iraqi forces and Popular Mobilization Forces,” said Rubaie, adding that the ISIS terrorist group was created by the United States in order to implement its plans.

Rubaie referred to the allegations about Iran’s military presence in Iraq, saying that Iranian forces are not present in Iraq, but that American forces are present in the country and no one knows the exact number of the troops and their bases.

He further praised the advisory assistance of IRGC Quds Force and its commander Major General Qassem Soleimani, and said the top general travels to Iraq through official channels.

Rubaie said Iranian military advisors are present in Iraq with Baghdad’s knowledge and at the Iraqi government’s request, and General Soleimani travels to Iraq officially and through the airport, and visits different areas.

He also touched upon the toppling of the rule of former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein in 2003, and said it was the Iraqi people who ousted Saddam Hussein with their uprising, and Iran was not involved in Iraq’s developments, whatsoever.

Majid Shankali, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, also weighed in on the presence of American and Iranian troops in Iraq in a separate interview with Dijlah TV.

Shankali said some voluntary Iranian individuals are members of the Popular Mobilization Forces, but underlined that no official Iranian military troops are present in Iraq unlike US forces who are present in Iraq without the agreement of the government.

He said the phone talk between Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revolved around the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq as well as US troops’ pullout from Syria.

Abdul-Mahdi is said to have hailed Pompeo in that phone conversation for renewing the waiver on a ban on electricity and natural gas imports from Iran.

He also pointed to the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, and said, “Given the presence of Russian and Iranian troops and Turkey’s threats to Kurds, US troops’ withdrawal from Syria will not be an easy issue,” he added.

The remarks by the two Iraqi party members come as opponents of Iran have always accused the country of having a military presence in the region and interfering in other countries’ affairs.

   
   

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