SHIITE LEADERS ARE AGAINST AMERICAN MILITARY PRESENCE IN IRAQ


27/11/2016





United States Secretary of Defence Ashton B. Carter announced 560 new troops will be sent to Iraq on the war against ISIS in his speech on 11 July 2016. The troops that will be assigned to retake Mosul where is still under ISIS control are stated to train Iraq armed forces, to advise them and give logistic support by spokesman John Earnest. According to New York Times, even though US President Obama has recalled the last remaining soldiers in Iraq in 2011, due to ascending ISIS threat it has been restarted to send military forces.With the newest additional forces, American troops in Iraq will rise to 4647. In the previous Pentagon announcement on 18 April, it has been stated that a $415 million package will be provided to Kurdish Peshmerga. Obama administration will try to leave the Mosul liberated to the new government that will be selected in November.As the news took great amount of attraction in the American media, reactions from Middle East also appeared quickly. Rudaw.net an Erbil centred news website in its “Iraqi Shiite leaders oppose ‘occupying’ US military presence” titled news stated that the new troops has not been welcomed by the Kurdish administration. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr warned Pentagon about American troops being targeted if the troops to take part in Mosul war. Mohammed Naji stated “We have a military institution that day-by-day shines with victories. This is done through high level coordination between the military divisions” and asserted that the victories claimed proves Iraq does not need any foreign military assistance. Shiite Member of Parliament Rassul Tayee emphasized that military, police and tribal forces which reclaimed Fallujah and other cities can also take back Mosul. He also argues that Americans are trying to occupy Iraqi territories and establish military bases on their aim to continue their presence in the region. He based his claim on US Central Commander General Joseph Votel’s statement “What we don't want to do is declare victory and depart after that. I think we want to see this through”. Another Shiite religious authority Sheikh Kassim Al Taai questioned why Americans has send their military forces after the region has cleansed and argued that the latest decision serves US’ interest which is to divide Iraq. Altuð Alsan

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