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News ID: 89943
Publish Date : 05 May 2021 - 20:40
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BAGHDAD (Dispatches) -- The chairman of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Sha’abi has denounced the destabilizing role of U.S. troops in the Arab country, saying they are targeting Iraqi forces instead of supporting them.
Falih al-Fayyadh urged the Iraqi government to call for an end to the presence of American troops who must leave the country under a resolution passed by Iraq’s parliament in January 2020.
"The Americans are not lovers of Iraq, but rather a dominant and occupying force,” Fayyadh said. "The American forces currently deployed to their bases are combat personnel and their job seems to be inciting groups opposed to their presence in Iraq, which is a source of instability.”
Fayyadh said U.S. troops are not fulfilling their duties to provide Iraqi forces with monitoring and intelligence support or equip them with weapons.
They are targeting Iraqi forces instead, including Hashd al-Sha’abi, especially the commanders of the Nasr resistance group, he added.
In early 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq under the pretext that the regime of Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. No such weapons were ever found.
The U.S. withdrew its troops from Iraq between 2007 and 2011, but redeployed them in 2014 along with a number of its Western allies under the pretext that they wanted to counter Daesh terrorists.
The deployment, however, came only after it was established that the terrorists had been pinned down far enough from Baghdad and other important cities.
Several Iraqi leaders have famously divulged that the U.S. and other Western powers refused to intervene after they pleaded for help when the Daesh reached the gates of Baghdad. Iran, they have said, was the only country which rushed to Iraq’s assistance, helping drive away the terrorists from the Iraqi capital and train militia groups which were key to defeating Daesh in the country.   
Ever since Iraq announced victory over Daesh, Washington has been fabricating scenarios to prolong its presence in the country and dragging its feet on the mandated withdrawal.
On January 3, 2020, the U.S. assassinated Iran’s legendary anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of the PMU, in a drone strike authorized by former president Donald Trump near Baghdad airport.
Two days later, the Iraqi parliament unanimously approved a bill, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country.
In recent months, Baghdad and Washington have held several rounds of strategic talks on the pullout of foreign forces from Iraq.
Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed al-Sahaf announced last month that the presence of U.S. troops would be limited to "advisory and training missions,” and that foreign forces would be stationed outside Iraq according to a certain timetable.
However, U.S. Central Command General Kenneth McKenzie said he had not been given any directive to withdraw, claiming that "the government of Iraq wants us to stay”.
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