The United States is constantly working to counter the attempts of pro-Iranian militias in the countries of the Middle East, which threaten the American forces in these countries. Sometimes it announces sanctions to limit the Iranian regime’s ability to support and finance these militias, and other times it issues warnings in the event that Tehran launches any attacks against American interests during the coming period, especially in Iraq.
The latest of these warnings came from the commander of US Central Command, General Frank McKenzie, who revealed on Saturday, December 11, that his country, despite the end of the combat mission of its forces in Iraqi territory, will keep 2,500 American soldiers in Iraq to face expected attacks by militants at the end of December.
“Although the combat mission of the American forces in Iraq has ended, these forces will continue to provide air support and other military assistance to the Iraqi government against ISIS,” McKenzie said.
The general stated that the mullahs’ militias in Iraq are seeking the withdrawal of any Western forces from the country in order to impose Tehran’s control in Iraq and export the revolution, which is aimed at controlling a number of countries in the region, especially Syria and Yemen. He stressed that the Iranian regime will push its militias during the coming period to increase attacks in Iraq in order to compel the American forces to withdraw.
Regarding the US decision, Dr. Masoud Ibrahim Hassan, a researcher specializing in Iranian affairs, explained that this decision is a natural reaction by the US administration to the failure of the seventh round of negotiations to revive the nuclear agreement in Vienna, and therefore this decision is one of Washington’s means to put pressure on the Iranian regime, because Washington knows very well the importance of Iraq to Iran, especially during the sanctions phase. Iraq has been the main corridor for Iranian oil smuggling and money laundering operations that take place across the Iraqi borders through the Revolutionary Guards.
Hassan pointed out in an exclusive statement to the Reference that Washington is putting pressure on the mullah regime in order for the nuclear negotiations to pass without any conditions imposed by Tehran on the international community and to conclude a new agreement under which the US sanctions imposed on Tehran by former US President Donald Trump would be abolished, and this is what the current administration of Joe Biden does not want.
Hassan added that the Iranian regime considers Iraq a strategic extension of Tehran, and therefore it seeks to expel American forces from the country immediately, which will prompt it to launch future attacks against American interests in Iraq, as it did previously.