In an extraordinary session held by the Iraqi Council of Representatives, last Sunday, with the participation of the outgoing Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi, the representatives who are present and belonging to only one political spectrum voted on a decision requiring the Iraqi government to cancel the request for assistance to the “International Alliance” to fight the terrorist organization ISIS , and to end the foreign military presence in Iraq, and to prevent the use of its airspace, as well as to file a formal complaint to the international Security Council and the United Nations against Washington, against the background of recent attacks in the cities of Al-Qaim and Baghdad, which resulted in the killing of the Iranian commander of the “Quds Force” Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, Deputy Leader of the Popular Mobilization Factions.
This decision angered US President Donald Trump, who on Monday night threatened to impose “severe sanctions” on Iraq if American forces were forced to leave its territory, hours after the Iraqi parliament asked the government to “end the presence” of foreign forces in the country.
“If they really asked us to leave (…), we would impose sanctions on them they had not seen before,” Trump said on the Air Force One presidential plane back to Washington after a two-week vacation in Florida. He pointed out that these sanctions, which he threatened to impose on Iraq, would make those imposed on Iran insignificant compared to them.
“We have an exceptionally expensive air base there … It has cost billions of dollars to build it, and we will not leave if they do not make up for us,” he added.
It was not an exceptional session only in terms of the decisions taken by that great political spectrum, taking advantage of the absence of the political spectrums that boycotted the parliament’s session, had they not boycotted the session, and the draft resolution was presented to a vote , failure would have been its fate, but it was exceptional also when Adil Abdul Mahdi , the resigned Iraqi Prime Minister , ignored the important questions that the Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Al-Halbousi, addressed to him, as if nothing had happened, and in order not to deviate from the goal of the session.
The exit of the American forces from Iraq is a strategic gain for this political spectrum, this spectrum was – and still is – accusing the United States of supporting the protest movement that erupted in the beginning of last October, and spread to most of the provinces of Iraq, starting with the capital Baghdad and the provinces of the Central Euphrates and reaching the province Basra in southern Iraq, but perhaps some or most of the supporters of that political spectrum have been forgotten that the reason for these protests was not due to the American presence in Iraq, but rather to their wrong practices in governing Iraq!
This spectrum looks at the American presence as a source of threat to its interests in Iraq, as it is from time to time that its military wing attacks the American interests “diplomatic mission, military bases” in Iraq, and because Washington does not want a military escalation with that spectrum and its military wing , it was constantly sending warning messages not to repeat the attacks.
But those messages were misunderstood , and they continued their military operations until they were ordered to bomb the Kiwan base, wounding a number of American soldiers, and the death of a civilian contractor, who was responsible for securing Iraqi oil transport lines from Kirkuk Governorate. Washington responded to by targeting the headquarters of the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades in the Al-Qa’im region in Anbar, and in the Syrian depth, the response to the targeting was the storming of supporters of the Iraqi factions affiliated with the Popular Mobilization Organization, the outer wall of the headquarters of the fortified American embassy in the Green Zone in Baghdad for the first time since its construction after the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 , and they raised the flags of «Hezbollah Iraq» on the walls, then the strikes of American Drones came to kill the commander of the «Quds Force» Soleimani, in charge of the militia, who was coming from a business trip, from Syria and Lebanon. Instead of the response to the assassination of Soleimani coming from Iran, it came from Iraq !!
Politically : the Iraqi parliament voted on the exit of US forces from Iraq.
Militarily : Re-targeting the American embassy in Baghdad and the American military bases deployed in Iraq.
But the question that arises in this context: What are the consequences of the decision to expel US forces from Iraq?
Militarily: According to special information obtained by the Raabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies, the United States of America withdrew its forces from its bases in Balad, Al-Qiyara and Al-Muthanna Airport, “Baghdad International Airport, the Military Side,” as they are loose bases that are easy to target, but their importance lies in providing logistical support to the Iraqi Air Force, and some Iraqi military sectors in the field of training and coordination. These forces are scheduled to move to Erbil, capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the State of Qatar.
It is useful to note here that these bases during their operation, and with the support of the United States of America constitute 40% of the combat power, and there is no doubt that after the departure of the American forces, that the fighting capacity of the Iraqi security forces will diminish to 20%, and over time, will continue to diminish until it reaches zero centigrade.
Economically : Donald Trump threatened to impose harsh sanctions on Iraq if American forces were forced to leave, and immediately this political statement greatly affected the Iraqi dinar exchange rate against the US dollar, and harsh penalties can be applied against Iraq, Iraq for the first time since Saddam’s regime was punished on the occupation of Kuwait, it now produces 4 million barrels of oil per day, and is granted great facilities, all of which may disappear, and Iraq will return to a poor besieged country, and chaos will prevail, as a result of his involvement in confronting Washington in line with Iran.
At a time when Baghdad is losing its relationship with its main protector, Tehran, otherwise, has begun negotiations with Washington in the hope of ending the economic blockade.
The division of the three political spectrums around the decision of the Iraqi parliament, means that Iraq is living an identity crisis and a geographical crisis, and with this division, voices in the East and West began to ask: Is Iraq on the way to sectarian and ethnic division?
The three political spectrum, especially the great political spectrum, must magnify Iraq’s interests, and it must realize deeply that the United States of America is a superpower not dealing with the logic of emotions, but with a logic governed by rational options. Iran, despite the painful blow it received with the assassination of Qassem Soleimani However, until this moment, rationality has prevailed in dealing with the United States of America, because it is very deeply aware that it is not easy to confront the United States directly.
Therefore, the Iraqi Studies Unit in Rawabet Center believes , that Iraq will lose a lot if that political spectrum continues on its stance towards the United States of America, and the stage of retreat begins that may affect the present and future of Iraq .
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies