Pro-Iran Militia Leader in Iraq Warns Trump: Pull Out Troops or We’ll ‘Eject Them By Other Means’

CNS News | 12/26/2018 | Staff
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(CNSNews.com) – President Trump’s unannounced visit Wednesday to U.S. forces in Iraq brought a veiled threat from the leader of an Iranian-backed Shi’ite militia – remove the troops or face the type of bloodshed they confronted before their previous withdrawal, in 2011.

Complaining that Trump’s visit to the Al Asad Airbase in Anbar province violated diplomatic norms, Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) leader Qais al-Khazali said on Twitter the Iraqi parliament would respond by voting to expel the American troops stationed there.

Experience - Ability - Means - Forces

“And if they do not leave,” he added, “we have the experience and the ability to eject them by other means, familiar to your forces when they were humiliated in 2011.”

AAH is one of two main IRGC Qods Force-backed Iraqi militias which U.S. military commanders accuses of responsibility for numerous deadly attacks on their forces during the Iraq war.

Part - Operation - Inherent - Resolve - OIR

As part of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), there are currently some 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, mostly involved in training national soldiers and police, now that the Sunni jihadists of ISIS have all but been defeated.

Trump told the troops on Wednesday that while he has announced the withdrawal of 2,000 troops from Syria – where they have also been participating in the anti-ISIS OIR mission – he has no plans to end the deployment in Iraq.

Personnel - Syria - Home - Iraq

While the personnel stationed in Syria would mostly go home, he said, “some will come here [to Iraq]. We’re staying.”

Trump added that the U.S. military presence in Iraq would be maintained “to prevent an ISIS resurgence and to protect U.S. interests. And also to always watch very closely over any potential re-formation of ISIS – and also to watch over Iran. We’ll be watching.”

Khazali - AAH - Trump - Visit - Remarks

Khazali of AAH was not alone in criticizing Trump’s visit and remarks.

Sabah al-Saidi, a leader in the Islah bloc – the largest faction in the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNS News
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