On July 27th, Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) told Washington that the US troops should withdraw from Iraq to ensure their safety.
This was reported by Baghdad Today, citing the Iraqi organization.
“The US presence in Iraq is rejected politically, and now Iraq has been in a state of stability for a while,” said Majid al-Kazimi, of the PMU.
“The attempts to expand US presence and remain in Iraq is unacceptable, in addition to making Iraq a land used to harm neighboring countries by the US, this is contrary to the Iraqi constitution and contrary to its laws.”
He further added that “this US behavior may receive unbalanced responses from the internal players in Iraq, thus it is better to end US presence in Iraq, in order to preserve personnel and ensure the safety of the forces.”
“American concerns of casualties, caused by the PMU and resistance factions is justified. These losses would affect President Donald Trump’s future, especially since he’s heading for a new presidential election, and this announcement of US concerns is aimed at antagonizing the popular crowd.”
Furthermore, al-Kazimi reminded of a recent statement by former US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman, who said that Iraq was a potential flashpoint in the region.
“We absolutely see Iraq as one of the possible flashpoints,” Douglas Silliman said.
He explained that in this time of heightened tension, the PMU, a wide collection of local Iraqi militias could unintentionally spark a conflict between the US and Iran. Since the US considers the PMU Iran-backed.
“What I’m worried about in Iraq,” Silliman said, “is not a conscious Iranian decision to attack American forces directly or through one of its mostly-controlled proxies.”
“I’m worried that people with other PMF [Popular Mobilization Forces, what MSM calls the PMU] groups,” those that receive support from but are not controlled by Iran, “who for their own political reasons as they try to elbow their way to the front of the PMF queue, might find it to their advantage to attack Americans even if the Iranians haven’t decided it’s time.”
“If any of those were to produce Western or American casualties, it is quite likely that Iran will be given the blame,” Silliman said.
“The Trump administration has said several times that the responsibility will rest on Iran for having organized, trained and armed these groups even if Iran does not issue an order to act.”
Joan Polaschik, the acting principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, told US Senators that some Iranian-aligned militias “plot against U.S. interests and plan operations that could kill Americans, coalition partners and Iraqis,” Bloomberg reported.
Thus, to avoid accidental casualties and an accidental start of a war, the Iraqi side offered the simplest solution: just leave.
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