Trump's Comments on Watching Iran from Iraq 'Humiliating' for Baghdad

Trump's Comments on Watching Iran from Iraq 'Humiliating' for Baghdad

Trump's Comments on Watching Iran from Iraq 'Humiliating' for Baghdad

"ISIS may conduct opportunistic attacks on US personnel as they withdraw but will leverage the event as a "victory" in its media", the report said, citing information obtained from US Central Command, which oversees US military operations in the region.

Earlier in the month, the president's own national security advisor, John Bolton, said in a speech that any withdrawal would be conditioned on the total defeat of ISIS and assurances from Turkey that it would not attack US -allied Kurdish forces in Syria-tall orders, to put it lightly.

"I was not consulted", said Gen Joseph Votel, head of the USA military's Central Command, who warned that Islamic State will continue to pose a threat following a U.S. withdrawal. "Certainly, we are aware that (President Trump) had expressed a desire and intent in the past to depart Iraq, depart Syria".

Baghdad's position has also been complicated by Trump's shock decision to pull troops out of Syria, prompting pro-Iran factions to step up calls for an accelerated U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

"All I want to do is be able to watch", Trump told "Face the Nation" anchor Margaret Brennan. "Although they are dispersed and disaggregated, they have the capability of coming back together if we don't". Iran has been deepening its influence in Iraq since the U.S.'s 2003 invasion.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, State Department officials likewise insisted that the 5,200 or so U.S. troops in Iraq - according to the last official Pentagon count from 2017 - remained focused on that mission.

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"Members of parliament's security, defence and foreign relations committees are now working hard to determine the exact number and real mission of the U.S. forces in Iraq", a high-level Iraqi government source told The New Arab's Arabic edition.

Trump said in his State of the Union speech that as negotiations with the Taliban continue, the United States will be able to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan and focus on counterterrorism efforts. There have been no reports to date of USA troops leaving Syria. "We might as well keep it", he said.

The IG report's warnings about ISIS's remaining strength mirror a worldwide threat assessment presented on January 29 to the Senate Intelligence Committee by Coats and other senior USA intelligence chiefs.

"Don't overburden Iraq with your own issues", Salih said. The agreement between Washington and Baghdad is for the troops to combat terrorism, he said, and doing otherwise would be "unacceptable". At the height of the terror group's power in the Middle East, it controlled 34,000 square miles in Syria and Iraq, territory the size of Britain.

Trump's comments come as the Pentagon worries that the United States military relationship with Iraq is increasingly "complicated" after May 2018 elections that saw Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr make substantial gains, raising safety concerns for American troops and diplomats.

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