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article imageOp-Ed: US withdraws 2,500 troops from Iraq

By Ken Hanly     Oct 5, 2020 in Politics
Mustafa Kadhimi, the Iraqi Prime Minister confirmed over last weekend that at least 2,500 US troops have been withdrawn already from Iraq as part of a three year period of pullout from the country.
Khadhimi announced US troop withdrawals earlier
During a recent visit to the US Kadhimi announced the US would be withdrawing troops. After US troops came under attacks from Iraqi militia supported by Iran the US had threatened to close the US embassy and withdraw troops outright.Although some time ago the Iraqi parliament passed a resolution that all foreign troops withdraw, the present Iraqi government is pro-US and far from pressing the US to withdraw have objected to US threats to withdraw.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said: "A US withdrawal could lead to further pullouts" by members of the US-led coalition fighting holdout jihadists, which would be "dangerous, because the Islamic State group threatens not only Iraq but the whole region. We hope that the United States will rethink its decision," which at the moment is only "preliminary".
However, the Islamic State has lost all control of any Iraqi territory it once held. There is less need now of US and allied forces to help contain the Islamic State (ISIS). ISIS is now so weak that Iraqi forces by themselves are probably quite able to control any threat from them. Many Iraqis have wanted US forces out of the country.
Kadhimi claimed that he had successfully negotiate the three year withdrawal period while in the US: "Before my trip to Washington, I met all political forces and some of them asked me to negotiate with the Americans that they would withdraw from Iraq over a period of 8 years. I negotiated and we got a period of 3 years."
US policy may misunderstand situation in Iraq
The US appears to think that the Iraqis fear the loss of US troops since they help control the Islamic State threat. However, the ISIS threat is now contained and even though the present Iraqi government is not against the US as mentioned many Iraqis would like the US and other foreign troops withdrawn. Kadhimi has persuaded the US to accept a withdrawal plan that will see US troops withdrawn over 3 years rather than 8.Earlier there had been threats by the US to impose sanctions on Iraq if they forced US troops out of the country. Now it seems the two sides have worked out an acceptable period for withdrawal.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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