The new US administration seems to be not going to reduce the number of troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan in a move that goes contrary to the agreements and policies of the previous US President.
During his confirmation hearing last week, the new Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that Washington was set to reexamine the plan announced by the administration of Donald Trump for reducing the number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan each to 2,500.
This move is not only putting end to Trump’s attempts to reduce the US involvement in conflicts around the world, but also antagonize a large part of the Iraqi society and political leadership. In January 2020, the Iraqi parliament passed the law demanding the US to withdraw troops from the country. This decision followed the US assassination of top Iranian and Iraqi military commanders, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, in a drone strike in Baghdad.
This act of the US aggression also led to the increase of activity anti-US armed groups (often linked with Iran) that have already carried out dozens of attacks on supply convoys and targets affiliated with the US-led coalition.
Meanwhile, the war on ISIS continues:
- On January 27, 3 ISIS engineering, medical and communications officials, as well as four fighters, were killed in the Wadi al-Shay region in southern Kirkuk, according to the ICTS;
- On January 27, the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) repelled ISIS attacks in Naft Khaneh.
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