By Elijah J. Magnier:
US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi signed an agreement ending the mission of the US personnel as combat forces at the end of the year 2021. However, from Iraq, before his plane took off to meet his US counterpart, the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi said, “there is no need for any foreign combat forces on Iraqi soil”. Yet nevertheless, he opened the door wide for the US forces to stay, by adding that “the war against ISIS and the readiness of our forces require a special timetable”. From Washington, the Kurdish Iraqi Foreign Minister Fouad Hussein confirmed what his Prime Minister said and added further: “Iraq needs full cooperation with the US on many levels”. However, from the US capital, the National Security Advisor Qasem al-A’raji announced: “the US forces will fully withdraw from Iraq by the end of this current year 2021”. Moreover, the Iraqi resistance groups have vowed to drive all US forces out of the country and will continue attacking all US bases in Iraq. These contradictory announcements from the US capital and in Baghdad reflect the reality of the confusion in Iraq about the withdrawal of the US forces, a withdrawal decided by Parliamentary binding decision last January 2020.
The Iraqi Prime Minister is visiting Washington with a specific plan previously agreed with all major political parties back home. Notwithstanding the US-Iraq official announcement, the US permanent withdrawal from Iraq won’t take place. Instead, a partial withdrawal, a redeployment and a differentiated title will be allocated to the US forces in Mesopotamia in a view to reducing attacks against its personnel and boosting Prime Minister al-Kadhemi’s political position The US’s decision to stay is also related to the Iranian regional influence which is a matter of growing concern. That means the confrontation between the two countries will not cease, and Iraq will inevitably be invested as their war theatre.
Iraqi decision-makers said that “the Iraqi Prime Minister carried a clear demand as agreed back home by most political leaders. The first point is that all combat forces should leave all military bases (Kurdistan was not included in this case). The second point consists in confirming that the Iraqi sovereignty will not be violated by any jets or drones without a prior agreement of the Iraqi leadership. The third point is that a committee between the two parties will be formed to implement the decision.”
According to the source, “the Americans are trying to boost Kadhemi’s position particularly following the hit he received when US jets bombed and killed four of the Iraqi security forces of al-Hashd a-Shaabi on the Iraqi-Syrian borders last June. But the US officials are dishonest when they announce that no combat forces have been active in Iraq for over a year. In this case, what do we call the forces who attack and kill Iraqi security personnel on the borders? Can these be called advisors or trainers? The Iraqi political leadership is afraid to come clean and tell the truth about the reasons why the US forces are still in the country.”
The source concluded: “If the US President and the Iraqi Prime Minister agreed to end the combat mission of the US forces in Iraq by the end of this year, it means the US will act as a combat force for the next five months. This means we can expect more Iraqi security forces’ deaths at US hands. When, and not if, this happens, it will signal a death blow for al-Kadhemi’s reputation and his deal with Biden”, said the source.
A senior Biden administration official denied the US’s intention to withdraw all 2500 troops from Iraq and only accepted shifting roles. This is also confirmed by the Kurdish chief Fawzi Hariri, representative of the Iraqi Kurdistan Government in the fourth round of the Iraqi-US dialogue, that the “process of agreement could take over a year.” This statement contradicts the Iraqi Prime Minister and the US President’s agreement.
Moreover, the Iraqi foreign minister, his US counterpart Antony Blinken and Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the Kurdish representative to the US, said that the fourth round includes negotiations about energy, climate change, security, health, culture, education, human rights and the forthcoming legislative elections. Indeed, Secretary Blinken confirmed that the “partnership between the United States and Iraq is much broader and deeper than even the common fight against ISIS”. Here is the key to the US presence in Iraq.ISIS has nothing to do with the US presence in Iraq. Both the US and Iraqi officials confirmed …
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