Time is up for United States in Iraq

TEHRAN, Jan. 01 (MNA) – As the year 2021 ended on Friday, the exit of US troops from Iraq will once again dominate headlines.

The date for the US withdrawal from Iraq was scheduled for December 31. However, no troops will be evacuated. Only the occupation forces will be renamed. The same combat troops will be assigned an "advisory" role, with no soldiers being removed. This was confirmed by Pentagon officials to The New York Times, who stated that the departure will take place primarily on paper. 

Looking back at how US soldiers returned to Iraq in 2014, it is clear that there was never any intention of withdrawing troops from Iraq.

Hassan Ali, a soldier from Kataeb Hezbollah, said on December 28 that the 31st of December will be the last day for American troops in Iraq. 

“If they don't leave voluntarily, they will leave by force. They will face the resistance factions and we will return to the year 2003. The Popular Mobilization Forces are against ISIS and against America at the same time. America is an occupier in Iraq, and we don't want occupation in our country,” he continued, according to PBS NewsHour. 

American troops targeted the headquarters, administration, medical and rocket support units.

PBS NewsHour said, “What the US and the coalition forces will do is provide an enabling mission, they will provide advice, they will provide intelligence, but they will be sitting alongside Iraqis in the operation centers.”

Twenty-five hundred US soldiers will remain in Iraq for that purpose, but their continued presence remains contested by groups like Kataeb Hezbollah, the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), and other resistance factions. 

Abu Al Fadhil, a soldier from Kataeb Hezbollah who was authorized to give interviews said, “When America hits us, we consider them as an enemy because they are targeting an Iraqi force.”

“Our responsibility is to control the Iraqi territories and the Iraqi borders, as assigned by the Iraqi government because we are operating under the Iraqi flag,” he added. 

Noor Ahmed, another soldier from Kataeb Hezbollah said because of the American occupation, the security situation in the region has deteriorated. 

“They are not willing to let Iraq destabilize,” Ahmed said through a translator quoted by PBS NewsHour.

The Coordinating Committee of the Resistance in Iraq said in a statement on December 30 that they do not trust the withdrawal of US combat troops, which must leave the country before December 31.

“The American forces do not seriously take the implementation of the Iraqi people’s demand, expressed by the Parliament which approved a decree for the total withdrawal of foreign military,” the text points out.

The note also warns that the Resistance will force this contingent to withdraw at any cost.

The Iraqi MPs voted for the end of the presence of any foreign force in the Iraqi territory in response to the assassinations of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and PMF deputy commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.

According to the Shafaq news agency, Hadi al-Ameri, leader of the Fatah Alliance, said on Saturday, December 26, that withdrawing all American combat forces from Iraq is “a goal that cannot be bargained.”

He deemed the presence of American troops in Iraq under the pretence of training or advisory missions to be unacceptable, declaring, “Our sovereignty is a red line.”

“My message to US military and the Iraqi government is plain,” he stated. “You must carry out what was agreed upon.”

“We will not accept any manipulation, fraud, or mission alterations,” he stressed.

“If US forces stay in Iraq, they must pay the repercussions of their bad decision... We will not accept even one foreign soldier, whether at the Ain al-Assad base nor in al-Harir, neither for training nor for [giving] advice,” he noted. 

Ameri stated that if the Iraqi government requires military trainers and advisers, a contract must be drafted that specifies their “locations, numbers, and tasks.”

Major General Tahsin al-Khafaji, the spokesman for the Iraqi Joint Operations Headquarters, also stated that an Iraqi security delegation would join the al-Harir base in the Erbil region in the coming days to accompany the withdrawal of US personnel from the base.

He stated that the withdrawal of US combat troops from Iraq would be announced publicly on December 31.

However, no such statement was made at the time this story was written.

According to the US coalition, the principal purpose of the US and coalition soldiers is to offer advisory services and enable Iraqi forces to permanently destroy Daesh.

However, the message is loud and clear. The Iraqi people do not want the US forces on their soil, whether as advisors or else.

Will Biden hear this message?

First published in Tehra Times

News Code 182399

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