US Troop Withdrawal from Iraq: Victory for Resistance Axis Led by Islamic Republic of Iran

  November 22, 2020   News ID 826
US Troop Withdrawal from Iraq: Victory for Resistance Axis Led by Islamic Republic of Iran
Islamic Republic of Iran's active diplomatic and military presence in Middle East in defense of the Resistance Axis and fight against terrorism and foreign intervention forced the US Government to take its troops back home. Now a heavy troop withdrawal is planned by US in order to save the lives of its soldiers.

Baghdad, SAEDNEWS, Nov. 22: The US has announced it will further reduce the number of troops stationed in the Middle East, causing further consternation among analysts who worry such a move may be to the detriment of one of the region’s key states, Iraq. Acting US Secretary of Defense Christoph Miller announced on Tuesday President Donald Trump’s decision to reduce US troop presence in Afghanistan and Iraq to 2,500 each by January 15, 2021.

The impact of an American withdrawal has long sparked unease, as many feel it would accelerate the growth of Iran’s influence and a resurgence of the ISIL (ISIS) armed group. Shortly after the announcement was made, Baghdad’s Green Zone, a heavily fortified area that houses foreign embassies, including that of the US, became the target of a rocket attack. These attacks have become a frequent occurrence in 2020, emblematic of Iraq’s current situation.

The decision to withdraw US troops will likely shift power significantly in favour of Iran, an ironic development in light of Trump’s constant efforts throughout his presidency to weaken Iran via a “maximum pressure campaign”.

The path to withdrawal was paved in January when the Iraqi parliament, in which Tehran-affiliated groups yield significant power, voted in favour of expelling US forces.

The foundations created in Iraq with the help of the international community are in peril of being lost, according to David Pollock, Bernstein fellow at the Washington Institute, who outlines the pros and cons of a US withdrawal:

“If US troops stay in Iraq, they would greatly reinforce America’s position there and help counter Iran’s malign influence throughout the region. But if they leave, Iraq would be at immediate risk of slipping back into the destructive isolation of the Saddam era, with even less ability to resist Iran’s predatory policies.”

Decades of violence and unrest since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein subsequent to an invasion by the US and allies has left Iraq unable to form a stable government and institutions capable of protecting its citizens. Thousands of Iraqis have been protesting against Tehran’s influence, against the rule of militias, corruption, and nepotism. Iranian militias were, Pfaff assesses, “responsible for killing, kidnapping, and torturing protesters”.

The latter notwithstanding, Trump seeks to follow up on his promise and bring troops home before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.

The withdrawal, according to Tuesday’s announcement, will reduce the US military presence in Iraq from 3,000 to about 2,500 soldiers, half of the initially deployed force of 5,000. Miller’s predecessor, Mark Esper, who was recently fired by Trump, had advocated maintaining a viable troop presence in Iraq (Source: AlJazeera).

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