An Analysis of Possible Withdrawal of American Military Forces from Iraq

2024/02/28 | interview, political, top news

Strategic Council Online - Interview: An expert on regional issues said: There is a lot of political and field pressure for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, and this issue has made it more difficult for the country's military forces to remain in Iraq on the eve of the US presidential elections.

In an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Abbas Khamehyar said, referring to the negotiations between the United States and Iraq regarding the withdrawal of the international forces of the Coalition against ISIS, as well as the withdrawal of American forces from the country: ”These negotiations are not only dependent on the question of the withdrawal of American military forces, but NATO forces are also discussed. After the presence of ISIS in Iraq, the military forces of the Coalition and the United States were widely deployed in this country based on a memorandum with the Iraqi government at the time. In fact, Operation Iraqi Freedom was launched under the pretext of supporting Iraq against terrorism. At that time, the presence of Takfiri groups and ISIS was discussed, and the common desire of the Iraqi government and foreign forces was that these groups should leave Iraq.

He continued: After the defeat of ISIS, the number of US and Coalition forces gradually decreased, and most of the US bases were handed over to the Iraqi government, and this process continues.

 

This expert on regional issues said: After the end of ISIS, there is no longer an excuse for the military presence of the US and NATO in Iraq, but for various reasons, they kept some of their bases, which was the reaction of many Iraqi currents, especially the jihadist and Shiite forces. confront with. Because they knew that from now on, the Iraqi resistance forces would be the target of America, not ISIS terrorists.

Regarding the Iraqi government and people’s insistence on the withdrawal of American and Coalition forces from their country, Khamehyar said: With the start of the Gaza war and the attacks that were carried out by the Iraqi resistance on the American bases in the country, they were forced to negotiate for their gradual withdrawal from Iraq. Although from that time until now, the Americans have tried to stall and delay these negotiations, both the Iraqi parliament and the people want the withdrawal of the Americans and the Coalition forces from their country.

Referring to the recent incidents and the targeting of some commanders of the Hashd al-Shaabi, which is part of the official defense force of the Iraqi army, the analyst said: This action is a violation of the sovereignty of an independent country, which aroused the feelings of the Iraqi people, as the parliament The government and Mr. Sudani also condemned it. Although the reaction of the Iraqi authorities was somewhat mild, given the memorandum of understanding for the presence of American forces in this country, these events caused the Iraqi authorities to demand the acceleration of the negotiation process for the withdrawal of American forces from this country.

He stated that America has requested a deadline of one and a half years for the withdrawal of its forces from Iraq. He said: The Iraqi government and Mr. Sudani personally, based on respect for public opinion, are seeking the withdrawal of American military forces and other foreign forces from the country, which is based on the approvals of the Iraqi parliament in 2020.

Khamehyar added: Of course, a part of Iraqis, especially the Kurds, are not satisfied with the withdrawal of American troops from this country.

Regarding the possible reaction of the Iraqi government to the US request for a deadline for the withdrawal of its forces from the country, he stated: The pressure of Iraqi public opinion has increased after the recent US attacks on the resistance forces of this country, and they want to speed up the withdrawal of the Coalition forces from Iraq. Meanwhile, targeting American military bases in Iraq is an important issue for the American government, and from this point of view, they do not want to suffer losses on the eve of the presidential elections, so they must somehow end this situation through negotiations. At the same time, the situation is unpredictable, but the pressure for the withdrawal of foreign forces from the Iraqi people and jihadist groups is high.

In the end, he said: Just as the Americans could not resist in Yemen and had to leave the country, they will face the same fate in Iraq, mainly because on the eve of the US presidential elections, Washington does not want to show it is vulnerable in the region. In general, the situation in Iraq is serious, difficult, and complicated, as it seems that in a short period, the Americans will have to define a timetable for their withdrawal from Iraq.

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