BAGHDAD – A prominent Iraqi security expert warned that the US is attempting to replace its military personnel in Iraq with forces trained by the CIA to protect its interests in the country.
“The US is trying to replace the military units present in Iraq with a number of forces trained under the supervision of CIA with the aim of supporting its interests in the country,” Adnan al-Kanani told the Arabic-language al-Ahd news website on Monday.
Elsewhere, he criticized the political groups in Iraq for weak positions against the US plots, warning that Washington is now seeking to conduct military action in Iraq after the parliament’s approval to expel the American forces. His remarks came in line with earlier calls by the Iraqi parliament and military for all foreign troops to leave the Arab country as soon as possible.
Iraqi lawmakers unanimously approved a bill on January 5, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the US from the country following the assassination of General Soleimani, along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the PMU, and their companions in a US airstrike.
Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), better known by their Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, in a statement earlier this month, blasted the US forces based in their country as “occupiers”, pledging to bring the occupation of the Arab country to an end. Hashd al-Sha’abi groups said from now on the US troops in the Arab country will be dealt with as “occupation forces”, PressTV reported.
The statement cited the US refusal to withdraw its forces from Iraq and its “continued aggression” against the country as the reasons for their decision.
“You have proven to everyone that you are occupation forces and that you only respect the language of force; on these bases you will be dealt with as occupiers,” the statement reads.
It also said that the Iraqi resistance forces’ military operations are a basic response to US aggression.
“Be aware that all operations which have been carried out against you so far were only a minor response to your aggressions as the decision to carry out operations [against US forces] had not been taken back then,” it added.
They stressed that the recent US threats to target the resistance forces are aimed at covering up their own failures. The statement was signed by Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, Kata’ib al-Imam Ali, Harakat al-Awfiy’a, Saraya Ashura, Harakat Jund al-Imam, and Saraya al-Khurasani.
In late March, the other PMU group Kata’ib Hezbollah blew the lid off a plot by the US military to carry out massive aerial operations — backed by ground troops – against bases of the elite anti-terror force, which is currently busy helping the government in the fight against a new coronavirus pandemic.