The US-led coalition has opted to leave some of its smaller bases in Iraq following the recent series of rocket attacks on its forces. According to the US military, troops will be redeployed to larger facilities, and this will not affect the military mission in the country.
The official explanation claims that the reason is the ‘success’ in the fight against ISIS, but recent casualties from two attacks on Camp Taji seem to be a more realistic version.
“As a result of the success of Iraqi Security Forces in their fight against ISIS, the Coalition is re-positioning troops from a few smaller bases. These bases remain under Iraqi control and we will continue our advising partnership for the permanent defeat of Daesh from other Iraqi military bases,” the US-led coalition said.
“The Coalition remains in Iraq at the invitation of the Government of Iraq to defeat ISIS; since 2014, together, we have liberated more than 55,000 square kilometers and freed millions of Iraqi people from ISIS murderous rule. Our troops are re-positioning in coordination with the Government of Iraq. Due to operational security, we will not announce a specific timetable for the troop movements.”
A new Iraqi armed group, Ausbat al-Thaayirin, already claimed responsibility for the March 11 rocket attack that killed three US-led coalition personnel. The group said that the attacks were delivered in response to the US assassination of Deputy-Commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Commander of the Iranian Quds Force Maj. Gen. Qassam Soleimani. It also vowed to continue military actions against US forces.