Alwaght- While the Iraqi people and officials have repeatedly warned about the US warmongering on their soil, it seems that Washington officials still hold evil dreams for Iraq. Just contrary to their promises of cutting its forces in Iraq, the US is strengthening its position in the country behind the scenes.
In this connection, a security source in Iraq announced on Sunday that American forces stationed at a military base in Kuwait transferred a unit equipped with various weapons to in Ein al-Asad Air Base in Anbar province. American military helicopters transported these soldiers to the base, which is under unprecedented security measures.
“The security forces stationed in Ein al-Asad do not know the reasons for the deployment of these forces and the tasks assigned to them,” said the source.
Although the American officials have not released details of their movements in Iraq, pieces of evidence show that the American occupation is trying to entrench its foothold in Iraq.
Abdullah al-Jaghifi, the secretary general of Ahrar el-Efrat party in Anbar recently said that a great disaster was happening in this province and the Americans are buying land and expanding Ein al-Asad base without any checks. He said that the provincial council and the representatives of Anbar act completely passively and as if they “have no knowledge of what is happening in this province.”
The increase of American troops in Iraq comes at a time when the country’s parliament in January 2020 and after the assassination of anti-terror commanders, namely Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani and Iraq’s Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, approved a resolution to expel the American forces and asked the government for an ultimatum to implement this plan as soon as possible. But, Washington has not taken any action to remove its forces from Iraq and has only moved a number of its forces from some bases to others. Even Baghdad and Washington agreed in July 2021 that the US combat forces would withdraw from Iraq by the end of that same year and only a number of US forces would remain to advise and train Iraqi forces, but this agreement remained just ink on the paper.
The new American movements are against Iraqi demands. Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani who is under pressures of resistance forces to expel the Americans has recently said that Baghdad does not need foreign troops.
Washington officials claim that they are present in Iraq in opposition to ISIS terrorists, but this claim is not valid from viewpoint of the public opinion and Iraqi politicians, and the resistance groups involved in Iraqi government and parliament believe that Washington is trying to make Iraq unsafe again through backing the terrorist group. Two months ago, an Iraqi expert revealed that the US transfers ISIS fighters from Anbar to Diyala province in eastern Iraq by planes.
Ein al-Asad is the largest base in Iraq, and American forces patrol and spy in Anbar freely and far from the control of the central government. The new US moves and the strengthening of its fortifications in Ein al-Assad show that this country has no intention of leaving Iraq and is more seeking to fuel tensions. In recent years, Washington has made suspicious moves in Ein al-Assad, causing Iraqi concerns. Certainly inside this vast base developments are taking place that undoubtedly affect the security of Iraq. The emergence of ISIS in Iraq started from Anbar and it was the Americans who provided the ground for its emergence and it seems that this scenario is being repeated now.
Deploying new forces to Ein al-Asad comes as the US ambassador to Baghdad Alina Romanowski has been under the Iraqi officials’ focus in recent months. Following her frequent meetings with leaders of political groups and attempts to influence the government to implement Washington’s demands, Iraqi politicians have demanded her expulsion from Baghdad.
Warnings of resistance forces
Since the resistance groups never tolerate the occupiers in Iraq, the new American movements have drawn reactions from them. Al-Nujaba Movement on Saturday said that there was no ceasefire or de-escalation with the US, adding that until the Americans pull out of Iraq, they will be “legitimate target” in Iraq and West Asia.
Commanders of the resistance forces have repeatedly said that they do not commit to the government’s agreements with the US and will do their duty against the occupiers. Given Al-Nujba’s warning, it seems that from now on, not only Iraq is insecure for the Americans, but also the American bases in Syria will be seen legitimate targets.
In the past three years, resistance groups have repeatedly attacked American bases on the Syrian-Iraqi borders . The latest was launched a month ago striking an American military base in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor, using drones.
Given the fact that Ein al-Assad is located near the borders of Syria and there is a possibility of repeated attacks on American bases in this country, Washington is trying to prevent these attacks by increasing its forces in Ein al-Assad. Therefore, with the US military deployment in this base, tensions are slated to intensify in the future.
Resistance commanders had earlier warned that if the US does not withdraw from Iraq, they will use force to this aim. They argue as long as Iraq is under occupation, peace is beyond reach.
The suspicious American presence in Iraq
Though any foreign force presence in a country should come under an agreement with the government of that country, the Americans are present uninvited in Iraq and advance their plans in the country while leaving the Iraqi government in the dark. The American bases in Iraq are now home to implementation of evil scenarios against Iraq and there is no detail of what is happening inside them and the Iraqi government has no precise count of the equipment and number of forces they host.
In August 2020, the US handed over Camp Taji in Baghdad to the Iraqi government and transferred the troops stationed there to Ein al-Assad, and at that time, an American military official claimed that the country would cut its forces from 5,200 to 3,500 in the coming months. But during this year, not only no American troops have left Iraq, but also according to reports, hundreds of other people have also arrived to Iraq. Therefore, a simple count can suggest that nearly 6,000 American troops are stationed in Iraq at present. Even some Iraqi experts speak of 8,000 Americans, beside 2,400 NATO forces, which means that some 10,000 troops are stationed in various bases across Iraq.
Iraqi military experts say there are currently more than 11 US military bases in six Iraqi provinces, including two bases in Baghdad, one in Mosul, three in the Kurdistan region, two in Kirkuk, two in Anbar, and one in Tikrit. So far, only Taji base was evacuated and the rest are operating under the control of the Americans.
Ein al-Asad operates as the command center and after the Iranian missile strikes in 2020 in retaliation of assassination of General Soleimani, new reinforcements were constructed inside it and was equipped with Patriot air defenses and radar systems for future attacks. Iraq’s airspace is a free space of the movement of American spy drones, helicopters, and fighter jets that are flown for unclear reasons, arousing the ire of Iraqi officials.
Experience has proven that the military presence of the Americans not only has not brought security to Iraq, but also has destabilized the country, and increase in Ein al-Asad forces is only for re-implementing the failed past plans. Boosting ISIS is a piece in this sinister puzzle Washington is drawing for Iraq.