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US to Evacuate Some Bases in Iraq Following Recent Rocket Attacks

As a result of recent rocket attacks on two its bases near the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the US military has announced it is evacuating those facilities.

According to NBC News, Washington’s latest step back came after a recent attack had killed two Americans and one British service member, as well as a dozen others injured following a rocket attack on the al-Taji base near Baghdad last week. Since its tense stand off with Baghdad and Tehran over the new year, the US had publicly vowed not to move from any of its bases in Iraq. However, this week that position seems to have loosened. Continued resistance to US occupation of Iraq has prompted Washington to reconsider its military commitments.

“As a result of the success of Iraqi Security Forces in their fight against ISIS, the Coalition is re-positioning troops from a few smaller bases. These bases remain under Iraqi control and we will continue our advising partnership for the permanent defeat of Daesh from other Iraqi military bases,” a coalition spokesman said.

The new Iraqi resistance/miliant group allegedly credited for the attacks US positions are said to be called “Osbat al-Thaereen.”

On Thursday, the US responded to rocket attacks by launching a near repeat of its previous strikes in late December which led to Washington’s state assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi PMU commander Abu Mahdi al-Mouhendis – a problematic US operation which nearly led to an all-out war with Iran.

Just like in December, last Thursday’s retaliatory airstrikes by the US targeted multiple Iraqi People’s Mobilization Units (which the US wrongly labels as “Iranian-backed militia”) sites situated along Iraq’s border with Syria.

As Iraqi PMU forces are fighting ISIS, further evidence suggests that US strikes appear to have aided ISIS militants operating in the area.

Following the US double-murder of Soleimani and al-Mouhendis in early January, the Iraqi Parliament voted for US forces to leave Iraq but the occupying forces refused to leave, and instead saw US officials threatening the Iraqis should anyone dare make another move against US personnel or assets stationed there.

“The Coalition remains in Iraq at the invitation of the Government of Iraq to defeat ISIS; since 2014, together, we have liberated more than 55,000 square kilometers and freed millions of Iraqi people from ISIS murderous rule. Our troops are re-positioning in coordination with the Government of Iraq. Due to operational security, we will not announce a specific timetable for the troop movements,” the Coalition statement said.

The US declined to state publicly which bases from which they would be withdrawing but it is believed that this information will soon become common knowledge in Baghdad and Tehran.

Despite the Iraqi military and PMU militias having defeated ISIS on the ground in Iraq in 2017 and largely cleansed the terror group from their borders, Washington is still clinging to the public position that it is occupying Iraq in order to somehow ‘help the Iraqis defeat ISIS’ – a stance which it needs in order to legally justify an increasingly unpopular presence now in its 17th straight year.

“Pompeo reiterated that the Government of Iraq must defend Coalition personnel supporting the Iraqi government’s efforts to defeat ISIS,” said State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus.

“Pompeo noted that America will not tolerate attacks and threats to American lives and will take additional action as necessary in self-defense,” said the spokeswoman.


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