US troops in southern Mosul, Iraq, at the time of the ISIS takeover
(Photo credit: Getty Images)
The Coordinating Committee of the Iraqi Resistance, a group that is doubtful of the true commitment of the US to leave Iraq, firmly underlined on 28 December that occupying forces would no longer remain in the ‘land of martyrs.’
In a statement issued that day, the Committee said that “US forces are not serious about implementing the demands of the Iraqi people, which is to implement the parliamentary decision to leave Iraq.”
The Committee was referring to legislation passed by the Iraqi parliament on 5 January 2020, following the US assassination of IRGC Commander Qassem Soleimani and Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) commander Abu Mahdi al Muhandis.
In its statement, the Committee acknowledged that it has conducted itself with “the utmost discipline and patience throughout the [grace] period granted to the US forces,” but that it has also noted “the insistence of the evil administration on keeping its occupying forces on the same base.”
While the US recently announced its end to its combat mission in Iraq, it still maintains an army presence in the country under the pretext of playing a supervisory ‘advise and assist’ role.
On 26 December, the leader of the pro-PMU and pro-Iraqi resistance al-Fatah coalition Hadi al-Ameri said that there will be no negotiations on US troop withdrawal, adamantly rejecting the presence of US troops on so-called advisory missions.
“Our sovereignty is a red line,” he said that day, sending a message to US and Iraqi officials that they “should implement what was agreed.”
Al-Ameri added that “we do not accept any manipulation, fraud, or changes to missions.”
On 26 July, Baghdad and Washington finalized an agreement for all members of the US-allied international coalition to withdraw their combat forces by the end of 2021.
However, with 2021 coming to a close in the coming days, many Iraqi factions are doubting the honesty of the US commitment to the agreement.
The US military says that it was transitioning from a combat mission to a presence aimed at “advising, assisting, and empowering” Iraqi ground troops under the pretext of fighting the last remnants of ISIS presence in the country.
It is estimated that 2,500 US troops remain illegally in the country.