Mark Asper visits Baghdad today

Mark Asper visits Baghdad today

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Given the current military developments in Syria and the latest US decision to withdraw its troops from northern Syria, and the impact of this resolution on Iraq, US Defense Secretary Mark Asper is due to arrive in Iraq on Wednesday on an official invitation addressed to him by his Iraqi counterpart Najah Hassan al-Shammari , with whom he will meet in Baghdad , and during his visit, Mark Asper will meet with Adil Abdul Mahdi, Commander-in-Chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces and Prime Minister of Iraq, and he will also visit his troops deployed at some US military bases in Iraq.

On the military developments, the two ministers will discuss the military situation in Syria and Iraq, and the withdrawal of US forces from northern Syria, part of which will move towards the Kurdistan region of Iraq, and the other heading towards the US Ain Assad Air Base in Anbar province to go – later – those forces withdrawn from northern Syria to the State of Kuwait.

This was confirmed by the brief statement issued by the Joint Iraqi Operations Command, on Tuesday , it said that US forces were not granted permission to remain in Iraq, and that their entry from Syria was intended to move out of Iraq. The Joint Operations Command, the highest command formation to manage the various Iraqi military and security formations, and supervised by Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi, said in a press statement that “the media reported on the withdrawal of US troops from Syria towards Iraq.” It added: “We show here that all US forces that have withdrawn from Syria, got approval to enter the Kurdistan region, to move out of Iraq,” stressing that “there is no approval for these forces to stay inside Iraq.”

The two ministers will also discuss the strategic framework agreement between Iraq and the United States, and will discuss the legitimate concern of the government and military leadership of the entry of ISIS criminals into Iraqi territory, and work to coordinate efforts in the face of the threat of the terrorist ISIS . Days before the start of the Turkish military operation, SDF tried to use the card of prisoners belonging to the terrorist organization “ISIS” as a pressure card on the international community to prevent Turkey from entering the area east of the Euphrates, but Ankara did not pay attention to this matter, where it considers the presence of ” the Kurdish people protection units ” on its borders is a grave threat to its national security. The SDF, which is dominated by Kurdish units, has not hesitated to implement its threat. Reuters quoted the Kurdish self-administration as saying on Sunday that 785 foreigners from the Islamic State group had managed to escape from Ain Issa camp in Raqqa governorate, northeast Syria, where they were detained. The agency quoted Kurdish sources as saying that they fled after the elements attacked, apparently from sleeper cells of the “ISIS “, the camp and guards, and opened the doors for the escape of prisoners.
Despite the preoccupation of Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, with the repercussions of the demonstrations that broke out in Iraq this month, and the legitimate demands of the demonstrators, but Adil Abdul-Mahdi puts the fight against ISIS in his priority because he is deeply aware that is not possible to talk about social stability and economic prosperity in the absence security , therefore, he holds intensive security and military meetings to monitor the latest developments on the Iraqi-Syrian border.
The threat of terrorist ISIS organization, which tried to return to the liberated provinces, has not finished in doing its criminal acts as indicated on Tuesday by the death of Major General Ali al-Lami, commander of the Fourth Division of the Federal Police and Brig. Gen. Mohammed Allawi, the director of operations of the Fourth Division, Federal Police with 5 of their protectors, ambushed by remnants of ISIS in al-Bazul area behind al-Asheq’s palace in Samarra district.

Iraqi Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies