Iraqi President Says Trump Did Not Ask Permission To 'Watch Iran'

05 February, 2019, 04:45 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Офис USAID в РФ закроется 1 октября программы будут свернуты – госдеп

"The Iraqi constitution rejects the use of Iraq as a base for hitting or attacking a neighboring country", he said.

On Monday, the Pentagon's Inspector General for the USA military mission in Syria, which is dubbed Operation Inherent Resolve, released a quarterly report covering the time period from October 1 to December 31.

The remarks were included in its quarterly report to Congress.

Trump also addressed his disagreement with the US intelligence community its belief that more work needs to be done to combat the Islamic State in Syria before withdrawing USA troops by reiterating his assertion that the terror group has largely been eradicated.

The US "deep state" is firmly against withdrawal from Syria, Shoebridge noted.

The report echoes what intelligence chiefs told lawmakers on Capitol Hill last week - that a vacuum left by the departure of usa troops could be filled by ISIS or al Qaeda in Syria or Iraq.

ISIS fighters in that region were described by operation officials as "battle-experienced, hardened and well disciplined".

The Republican chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, called the withdrawal plan "tragic" and "unconscionable".

Since pulling out of the landmark Iran nuclear deal agreed by predecessor Barack Obama, Trump has publicly shown an uncompromising attitude toward Iran and reimposed sanctions on the country. "We've been there for many, many years". "We might as well keep it", he said, referring to Ain al-Asad air base in western Iraq that he visited in December.

"I have intel people, but that doesn't mean I have to agree", @realDonaldTrump says about his intelligence chiefs' assessment of Iran.

"I want to be able to watch Iran", he added, but denied he had plans to strike Iraq's neighbour. Trump has angered Iraqi politicians and Iranian-backed factions by arguing he would keep US troops in Iraq and use it as a base to strike Islamic State group targets inside Syria as needed.


Some of the forces moving out of Syria will go to Iraq, where they can monitor any resurgence of ISIS or other militant groups and "ultimately some will be coming home", Trump said.

The policy of "watching" Iran from inside Iraq came as a surprise and outrage to Iraqi leaders.

But U.S. troops have no right to do that, said Iraqi President Barham Salih, adding that Trump's comments were "surprising". "The US is a major power. but do not pursue your own policy priorities".

U.S. troops in Iraq are there as part of an agreement between the two countries with a specific mission of combating terrorism, Salih said, and that they should stick to that.

Iraq is in a hard position as tensions between its two biggest allies, the United States and Iran, increase.

Iraq's former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who had strong backing from the U.S, also voiced opposition to Trump's comments, tweeting, "Iraqi sovereignty must be respected".

"Its interests should not be compromised".

"Iraq should not be used as a spring board to attack its neighbors".

The Kurdish YPG militia makes up more than two thirds of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which the U.S. have used as the main proxy against IS in northeastern Syria.

US military commanders rely heavily on Syrian forces to gather intelligence from information and material gathered from the battlefield, but also a wide-range of informers with firsthand knowledge about ISIS operations.

"All parties need, as soon as possible, to stop the USA presence and not allow Iraq to be used as a springboard for aggression or surveillance of any state", the statement read.

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