Withdrawal of international coalition mission forces from Iraq

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Withdrawal of international coalition mission forces from Iraq

Hisham Al-Hashimi

historian and researcher in security and strategic affairs

By 2020, violence and hatred between shiite militias loyal to Iran  “out of control of Al-Hashid “, and the International Military Coalition led by the United States of America. This happened when  the Iraqi Parliament had vote on 5 January 2020 with a (non-binding parliamentary legislation ), that the international coalition forces should be removed from Iraq and their combat and logistical duties terminated. following the repercussions to the assassinate of General Suleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Mohandis.

Military and security risks assessment from many American and Iraqi leaders have suggested that the U.S. military presence in Iraq after 2020 is favourable at both levels.

Security: Providing consultation, training, military techniques, equipment, maintenance and operation of F16 aircraft, maintenance of Abrams tanks, provision of specialized weapons, counter-terrorism force, rapid reaction forces, special tactical regiments in the Iraqi army, and in providing intelligence and participating Targets, airspace management, desert area control and the use of military satellite-related communications, as well as smart artillery, air force, combat helicopters and combat units of airborne forces, with military and security donations and grants exceeding 5 A billion dollars.

Politically: The continued participation of the countries of the international coalition led by the United States helps Iraq in:

– Creation of a safe investment environment.

-Provide reassurance to the neighbours of Iraq.

– Support Iraq in international forums, and give Iraq priority in international grants and assistance, and at the World Bank.

– Support The federal government’s decisions to impose security and stability and preserve the territorial integrity of Iraq.

In February 2019, the Pentagon began to planning for indefinite military presence based on increasing its combat roles while reducing its human resources. But the seven-month stalemate Due to the battles east of the Euphrates on the Syrian side, and the bombing of Israeli aircraft to the headquarters, camps, stores and factories of Iraqi Shiite militias that including “fighters within the Popular Mobilization Organization, and other fighters outside the Popular Mobilization Committee” and are consistent with Iran’s project in the region. The anger of those factions that gave hundreds of casualties and thousands of wounded and millions of dollars . From his side,  White House explicit not to deter attacks targeting this militias in the Iraqi depth, and at the same time considered  Israeli’s attack is not blamed and justified.

The Shiite militias  announced their rejection of the U.S presence in Iraq, and charged them on the basis that The Iraqi airspace is in the hands of the American forces and their place to deter Israeli air attacks, or to allow Iraq to buy a sophisticated air defences system from Russia or China or Iran to deter Israel’s violations of Iraqi . White House explicitly rejected this request and threatened the Iraqi government to military and economic sanctions and with the same force that Turkey was subjected  when it purchased an air defence system (S-400) from Russia.

In October 2019, large protests began in the central and southern areas in Iraq, which distracted this angry militias and limited their movement for revenge. According to this situation, appeared a new division of this  Shiite’s militias announced by the disagreement that occurred between the chairman of the crowd and his deputy, and confirmed by the statements of Sheikh Khazali, Abu Al-Waaal al-Wabai, Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi .This new divided are contained :

1.Popular mobilization forces (Hashid Al-shaabi ): It is established according to the law number 40 in 2016, the Group of troops and combat formations of Iraqi components “Shiites 60% and year 28% and 22% minorities”. It becomes part of the Iraqi national defence system, and has a structure according to of ‘Diwani’ Command  237 in 2019, and is a member of the Iraqi Joint Command according to ‘Diwani’ Command 328 for 2019, a national non-border force that receives salaries from the Iraqi state budget according to Diwani Order 331 in 2019.

  1. Factions of Shiite ideological resistance: jihadist factions linked ideologically with the methodology of t Syyid Ali Khamenei and considers the need to export the Iranian Islamic revolution beyond the borders of Iran, through the alliance axis of resistance. Also, they carry the slogan of the liberation of Jerusalem and Palestine and the fight of Sunni Takfirist groups ISIS. Not Interconnecting with the popular mobilization body because it has a large number of fighters inside the unit and more than 40% of the leaders of departments and departments And the directorates within the structure of the mobilization body, especially the directorates of finance, security and intelligence a, media and development and military manufacturing. If there is a difference between the presidency of the mobilization and the leaders of the factions, then we can found the leaders positions are close to the position of Iran. For example, when disagreement happened Between Al-Abadi and Abo Mahdy al-Muhandis in 2018, as well as, the argument happened between Al-Fayyad and al-Muhandis in 2019, these leaders stand with the position of the Al-Muhandis. In addition, this forces not coordination with the forces of the mobilization of the Najaf authority, and the militia of Sraia Al Salam related with Muqtada al-Sadr.

Factions of Shiite ideological resistance also divided into two groups.

First group, alongside the American presence by legal and political methods, “Asaib Ahl al-Haq, Badr, and most of the national state brigades that do not have fighters outside iraq’s borders.”

Second group declare the stand against the American presence with weapons and violence, such as, the Hizbullah Brigades, the Hizbullah Brigades Al-nogabah and Sayyid Al-Shuhada troops. This team has embarrassed Mr. Adel Abdul Mahdi and the Iraqi Joint Command on many occasions with the international coalition and with the American administration.

Al-Wlaiee cells clearly  targeted operations for the U.S. military and civilian presence in Iraq and were the beginning of a direct conflict after the incident of 27 December 2019, which included the targeting of the Section of The United States forces inside Camp Ki-one, northwest of Kirkuk, wich was subsequent  death of a U.S. contractor, which was not adopted by a faction armed entity and also did not adopted by the detachments of remnants of ISIS. United States accused of The Hezbollah Brigades of Iraq.

Since then, until 30 March 2020, the armed factions began 25 imminent targeting of U.S. civilian and military interests in Iraq, the most severe of which was the targeting of Camp Taji on March 9 and 14, 2020, where he was killed. U.S. forces responded with a ‘attack versus attack’ tactic with a multiple air strike against five weapons depots belonging to the 45th Hezbollah Brigade, which four Iraqi regular forces and a civilian were killed.

On 30 March 2020, Mr. Adel Abdul Mahdi, as a Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, issued a statement describing the conflict between the Al-Wlaiee militias and U.S forces on the Iraqi as “illegal and irresponsible actions which is targeting Iraqi military bases or foreign representatives is truly targeting of Iraqi sovereignty and an abuse of the Iraqi Government and people”.

According to this political escalation, with the risk of the spread of the Coronavirus, the French and Canadian military missions in the northern region have stopped their training and advisory missions and intend to leave Iraq.

The question is whether the human resources of the coalition forces and the United States, which are less than 10,000 fighters, could have prevented the expansion of the influence of Al-Walaiea militias in the southern Kurdistan region of Iraq and cut off their power on the Tehran-Beirut road?

Some American’s expertise  believes that the U.S. states do not need human resources, they have the experience of the “War of The Drone” with al-Qaeda in Yemen and Afghanistan, and the experience of special operations as happened in Idlib when the liquidation of the leader of ISIS Baghdadi, all of this needs only unilateral or common rules in a reliable geography Out, “Kurdistan, Western Iraq” and the use of remote combat techniques is more accurate and less expensive.

It is not in the interest of the United States to expand the conflict with the Iraqi state factions that have formed and strengthened themselves as an institutional organization “militarily, politically, economically, media and culturally” and have popular acceptability in some areas that may have an incubator for their people, families, headquarters, stores and even their camps, and every reaction that produces a deliberate or unintentional error will expand popular support for them.

However, the common arguments on the subject of the military coup with internal and external support to displace Shiite religious parties are nothing but nonsense because iraqi sectarian, national and cultural divisions, exploited by the forces of non-state, are deep and irreversible and can only be used to bring more Chaos.

The United States and the international coalition countries are now preoccupied with themselves and are more inclined to be isolated from influence beyond their national borders. In fact this isolation might give ISIS a golden opportunity that began to be taken over during the past weeks.

On the other hand, the lack of justice of local governments in providing medical and health equipment to the residents of villages and rural areas made many of them seems angry and frustration because of weakness and shortages of health institutions where there are 260 government hospitals all in city centres, many of which are out of service. As a result of the war against ISIS and because of administrative and financial corruption, there are 121 community hospitals, mostly within cities, which are very expensive.

In addition to the low level of qualification of a large proportion of them to deal with people suspected of  infection, which can turn these areas into the centre of an epidemic due to neglect and social injustice.as well as, this means that thousands of members of the Popular And Tribal Mobilization Forces are busy with the health affairs of their families as the majority The fighters are the sons of that fighter, and this increases the fragility of the lines of stationing and repellent in areas that are classified militarily as sick.  For example, the withdrawal of the 314th troop of the Saraia Al-Salam in order to help Baghdad’s operations forces impose a curfew in areas east of Baghdad, indicating a defect in areas south of Samarra and west of Al-Tharthar, where intelligence reports noted that attacks on isis remnants’ detachments are on the rise.

The social challenge of the residents of the countryside where regular forces and support forces withdrew from them and the government has no effective authority in it.

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