Iraq

Former Iraqi prime minister: Baghdad should face US with definite exit date

A former Iraqi prime minister urges Baghdad to act more decisively towards ending the United States’ so-called mission in the Arab country.

Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who served in the position between 2018 and 2020, made the remarks to Iran’s Arabic-language television news network Al-Alam TV in an interview on Saturday.

“The Iraqi government should adopt a clear and simple position, and announce to America the end of its mission in a certain date,” he said.

“American forces came to Iraq [in the first place] in line with a decision made by the Iraqi government, and now [too], they should leave as per the Iraqi government’s notification,” Abdul-Mahdi said.

The United States invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003, leaving a trail of destruction, death, and chaos in the Arab country based on Baghdad’s supposed possession of weapons of mass destruction, an allegation that was later proved to be false.

The US and scores of its allies re-launched a military campaign against the country in 2014 under the pretext of fighting the Takfiri terrorist group of Daesh. The group had emerged in Iraq and neighboring Syria earlier as Washington was running out of excuses to extend its meddling in the West Asia region or enlarge it in scale.

The US military claimed to be ending its combat mission in Iraq in 2021, but said it would retain some 2,500 troops in the country as alleged advisors, although, Baghdad and its allies dealt a decisive defeat to the terror outfit in late 2017.

Abdul-Mahdi’s tenure witnessed an American drone strike that led to the martyrdom of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s former senior anti-terror commander, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, former deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) umbrella anti-terror group, and their companions.

The atrocity was followed by ratification of a legislation by the Iraqi Parliament that mandated departure of all foreign forces from the country’s soil.

Abdul-Mahdi noted that the legislative body resorted to the intervention since his government was an interim one.

Now, however, there would be no need for either the United Nations Security Council or the parliament’s to intervene since the Iraqi government currently enjoys an inclusive jurisdiction that empowers it to expel the forces itself, he said.

“The Americans came to [supposedly] support the Iraqis, and now they are killing them,” noted the ex-premier.

The remarks came less than a week after the US military announced carrying out a drone strike against the eastern section of the Iraqi capital, killing three people, including a senior commander of Iraq’s Kata’ib Hezbollah resistance group, which is a major component of the PMU.

 

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