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Op-Ed: 100 US military trucks move into base in Iraq’s Anbar province

Chinese news outlet Xinhua reports on the convoy

Xinhua reports: “A convoy of more than 100 military trucks, carrying equipment, weapons and vehicles arrived at Ayn al-Asad air base, near the town of al-Baghdadi, some 190 km northwest of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, a police officer from Anbar provincial police told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. “These trucks came from Jordan through Trebil border crossing, where the Iraqi forces escorted the U.S. trucks until they reached to Ayn al-Asad air base,” the source said.”

There is no explanation for the movement

US officials have for the most part not commented on the convoy. However, it seems they are preparing for something to happen or to do something themselves.

Ayn al-Asad

The base is the second largest airbase in Iraq about 110 km from the provincial capital Ramadi. It has the largest number of US troops in Iraq along with some from other coalition members. In December last year, US President Donald Trump paid a surprise visit to troops there during the Xmas period.

The troops are there as part of an anti-ISIS coalition that has been attacking the terrorist group with airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria.

Conjectures on the reasons for the US move

Earlier in the week there were reports that accused Iran of creating a major base at al-Bukamai which is the main border crossing from Iraq into Syria. This is based on satellite images and pure conjecture. It is not clear that the base is Iranian or even major. However, the US base that is getting all the new weapons and vehicles is on the main highway to that border crossing. There may be no connection to the US reinforcing the base but there has been no explanation of the development from US officials as yet.

Some allies of Iran in Iraq call for US withdrawal from Iraq

The Fatah Alliance
is described by Wikipedia: “The Fatah Alliance (Arabic: ائتلاف الفتح‎, romanized: iʾtilāf al-fatḥ), also sometimes translated as the Conquest Alliance, is a political coalition in Iraq formed to contest the 2018 general election. The main components are groups involved in the Popular Mobilization Forces which is mainly a state-sponsored umbrella organization made up of Iraqi Shiite Muslims who fought alongside the Iraqi Army to defeat ISIL from 2014 to 2017. It is led by Hadi Al-Amiri, the leader of the Badr Organization.”

A recent Newsweek article reports: “In Iraq, a convoy belonging to the Popular Mobilization Forces was struck in Al-Qaim, near the Syrian border, killing a field commander of the Iraqi state-sponsored, majority-Shiite Muslim militia also supported by Iran. Israel has neither confirmed or denied its involvement, but widespread suspicion as to its involvement has prompted the powerful Fatah Alliance to call Monday for a total withdrawal of Israel’s closest ally, the U.S. “While we reserve the right to respond to these Zionist attacks, we hold the international coalition, particularly the United States, fully responsible for this aggression, which we consider a declaration of war on Iraq and its people,” a statement by the group read, according to the Associated Press.” The group could very well try to pass a resolution in the Iraqi parliament demanding that the US withdraw from Iraq.

Last December Iraqi parliamentarians also demanded the US withdraw from Iraq and there was supposed to be a vote on the issue but I have been unable to find out if it ever happened or if it did what the result was.

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