Iraqi PM, Popular Forces Reject Foreign Troops after US Announcement
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi rejected the need for foreign troops to fight Daesh (ISIL) Takfiri terrorists after the United States announced it was deploying a special operations force, which Iraqi popular forces pledged to attack.
"We do not need foreign ground combat forces on Iraqi land," Abadi said in a statement, Reuters reported late on Tuesday.
Abadi added that the Iraqi government "stresses that any military operation or the deployment of any foreign forces - special or not - in any place in Iraq cannot happen without its approval and coordination and full respect of Iraqi sovereignty."
Also, Jafaar Hussaini, spokesman for Iraq’s Kata’ib Hezbollah group, strongly condemned the deployment and stressed, "We will chase and fight any American force deployed in Iraq. Any such American force will become a primary target for our group. We fought them before and we are ready to resume fighting."
Muen al-Kadhimi, a senior aide to the leader of Iraq's Badr Organization, said, “All Iraqis look to (the Americans) as occupiers who are not trustworthy.”
The remarks came hours after US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said that Washington will deploy special operations forces to fight the ISIL terrorists in Iraq, with the ability to conduct raids over the border in neighboring Syria.
"These special operators will over time be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence, and capture ISIL leaders," Carter said.
Since June 2014, Iraq has been ravaged by terrorist attacks carried out by Daesh terrorist group, which has overrun parts of the country and is tyrannizing the civilian population there. The country depends heavily on the popular forces, which have effectively fought on the side of its Armed Forces in their battle against Daesh.
The rise of the group has been widely attributed, among other things, to the United States’ 2003 invasion of Iraq. The US has currently some 3,500 troops deployed in Iraq on allegedly advising and assistance missions. Since August 2014, the US has been also leading a coalition that purports to be pounding Daesh positions in Iraq; the military coalition, however, has fallen severely short of dislodging the group.