A leader of Iraq’s anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), better known as Hashd al-Shaabi, says thermal cameras recorded US military helicopters transferring ISIS terrorists to different locations in the country.
“Thermal cameras in Salahuddin have captured how Daesh elements are being transferred across Iraq by US choppers,” Qassem al-Kuraiti told the al-Ahad television network on 24 July.
In August of 2017 the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported seeing US choppers transporting ISIS fighters in and out of the city of Deir Ezzor multiple times. The last reports of these activities came mere days before Syrian and Russian troops retook the city from the terrorist group.
“The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that a new airdrop was carried out in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor, by the forces of the International Coalition (…) reliable sources confirmed to the [SOHR] that the International Coalition transported members of the “Islamic State” organization,” the report claimed on 31 August of 2017. It goes on to say: “sources said to SOHR that it is likely to be that the International Coalition has been transporting [ISIS] agents and members who deal with it, for days, from areas controlled by the organization, and a lot of them are members of the organization, by its helicopters to its headquarters.”
During his conversation with al-Ahad, Hashd commander Qassem al-Kuraiti also took aim at the recently-signed agreement by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and US President Joe Biden to withdraw US combat troops from Iraq by the end of 2021, saying: “The United States is not serious about withdrawing its troops from Iraq. The presence of US forces shows that previous statements made by Iraqi authorities and their American counterparts are false and misleading.”
“Changing their name from combat forces to trainers and advisers — we consider it as an attempt at deception,” al-Kuraiti added, referring to reports that US military presence in Iraq will not actually diminish as most combat troops will simply be rebranded.
On 24 July The New York Times claimed the Pentagon has no intention of pulling out any of the 2,500 US troops in Iraq, despite what the White House claims.