Al-Monitor: Abdel-Mahdi does not support the American withdrawal, as it appears publicly. He has a first choice

Al-Monitor: Abdel-Mahdi does not support the American withdrawal, as it appears publicly. He has a first choice

01/14 2020 18:45

Al-Monitor - Abdel-Mahdi does not support the American withdrawal as it appears publicly. He has a first choiceBaghdad today – follow up

The American newspaper Al-Monitor said in a report that the caretaker head of government, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, appears publicly that he supports the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country, but the reality suggests otherwise.

The newspaper quoted Iraqi sources described by the newspaper as saying that the prime minister does not want the withdrawal of American forces, although he publicly supported a recent parliamentary vote that urged the Donald Trump administration to leave the war-torn country.

She adds that, despite Secretary of State Mike Bombo’s call to send an American delegation to Iraq to negotiate the withdrawal of US forces in a phone call last Friday with the Iraqi official, Abdul-Mahdi is trying to find a way to maintain the American presence in the country while trying to calm.

“He doesn’t want us to leave,” she says, quoting an American source. By demanding exit from the United States, Abdul-Mahdi uses “the only force he has”.

In a heated response to Abdul-Mahdi’s statement on Friday, the US State Department rejected the caretaker government’s request for a plan to withdraw US forces. “Any delegation sent to Iraq will be devoted to discussing the best way to recommit to our strategic partnership, not to discuss the troop withdrawal,” ministry spokeswoman Morgan Orgutus said in a statement.

“Abdel-Mahdi, who resigned in November amid ongoing anti-government protests in the streets, is likely to ask US forces to remain in a training role without the rules of engagement to fight, despite the parliamentary decision urging the prime minister to cancel the Iraq invitation for 2014 to US forces, the government has not officially requested the US withdrawal. ”

And she continues, “The Iraqi leader wants to save his position, especially after the strike that targeted the popular crowd in western Iraq because the Iraqi factions are pressuring him.”

The newspaper quotes Rayhan Hanna Ayoub, a member of the Iraqi parliament and a member of the Foreign Relations Committee: “There is a lot of pressure on him.” “All data and reports indicate that Iraq is not ready, economically, financially or militarily, to confront ISIS and criminal gangs.”

Ayoub, who represents Kirkuk in the Iraqi parliament, adds that “the situation is unlikely to change after an Iranian ballistic missile attack on Tuesday targeted Iraqi military bases in Ein al-Assad and Erbil, which include American and coalition forces.”

The newspaper quotes Rep. Sarkot Shams as saying that “Abdul Mahdi is trying to calm the factions at the present time.”

“He knows that bad things will happen if I leave the United States in this way,” he said, referring to the possible strong expulsion of US forces.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper did not speak to Abdul-Mahdi after the Iranian attacks. And Esper said last Wednesday: “We were trying to arrange a quick call, then I think I was on the line with members of Congress.” Al-Monitor later learned that the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rudd, the agency’s third official, had made the call instead.

Earlier this week, Esper insisted that the vote to urge the expulsion of US forces in Parliament showed that not all Iraqis were supportive, as most Kurdish and Sunni representatives did not attend the voting session.

“My sense is that at the grassroots and political level, almost no one wants to leave the forces and they will perform this public dance,” said Kristen van den Turner, head of the Iraqi Fund for Higher Education. ”