Over 20,000 US Forces Deployed in Iraq

TEHRAN (FNA)- More than 20,000 US military forces are stationed in bases in al-Anbar, Erbil and Kirkuk in Iraq, a political analyst revealed, describing it as a clear instance of occupation of Iraq’s territories.

“Washington is attempting to clearly declare its military presence in Iraq by patrolling missions near Samarra, Fallujah and al-Anbar,” Hashim al-Kandi told the Arabic-language al-Ma’aloumeh news website on Saturday.

He said the fact that US Deputy Commander in Iraq Austin Rim Furth conductts patrol in Baghdad along with the US forces, and that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Iraq on a military plane indicates Washington’s attempts to occupy the country again, saying that Pompeo and Trump’s trip to Iraq showed that the US has no intention of playing an advisory or training role.

The analyst said that the recent talks between Pompeo and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi were focused on the US forces’ withdrawal from Syria and finding a new base for them, adding that relocation of these forces to Iraq will endanger its security as Washington plans to threaten the neighboring states from Iraq.

In relevant remarks last Saturday, a senior Iraqi lawmaker disclosed that Israel’s intelligence forces had arrived in Baghdad along with the US troops.

“Israel’s intelligence forces have been witnessed patrolling with the US troops in Baghdad,” al-Maloumeh quoted member of Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee Karim Alivi Javish as saying.

Alivi Javish reiterated that the Iraqi Parliament’s National and Defense Committee would probe the US troops’ presence in the Iraqi capital.

In a similar report late last month, the US troops patrolled together with Baghdad Operations Commander in the Iraqi capital.

US Army Planning to Set Up Military Headquarters in Western Iraq

TEHRAN (FNA)- Large US military convoys have arrived in Fallujah in Al-Anbar province to allegedly establish a military headquarters in the region, Iraqi media sources said.

The US military convoys are patrolling in the streets of Fallujah city, the Arabic-language al-Maloumeh news website quoted a security source in al-Anbar province as saying.

The source noted that the US convoys have arrived as American troops are preparing to reopen a former military headquarters in the Eastern entrance gate of Fallujah city.

In a relevant development on Wednesday, the Iraqi media sources reported that the US Army was planning to establish several new military bases in al-Anbar province in Western Iraq.

“The US intends to set up four permanent bases equipped with advanced military equipment in different cities across al-Anbar province,” the Arabic-language Al-Maloumeh news website quoted a security source in al-Anbar province as saying.

The source noted that the US military bases will be established in Ma’askar Tareq in Fallujah region, San al-Zib base North of al-Baghdadi, al-Khafaseh in the town of Hadisa town and another one located between the towns of Ravah and Biji West of the city of al-Ramadi.

“The number of the US military bases in Iraq’s al-Anbar province will increase to 9 after the four bases are set up,” it added.

However, there has yet been no report on reasons or justifications behind setting up more military bases in al-Anbar province.

In yet another relevant development on Sunday, the Iraqi sources reported that Washington has deployed large groups of soldiers in Western Iraq; a number of its military forces who were earlier stationed in Syria.

The sources were quoted by Russia’s RT news channel as saying that dozens of US troops stationed in Syria have been relocated to Ein al-Assad base in al-Anbar province in Western Iraq.

“Reports that the US forces who have left Syria are now stationed in Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan region are not all true. A major part of these forces have gone to Ein al-Assad base in al-Anbar province and a number of others have been deployed in the military bases in other Iraqi provinces,” they added.

According to the sources, the US forces are still stationed at the Iraqi-Syrian borders and have not left Syria completely.

An informed source said on Saturday that a large number of state-of-the-art US-made weapons had been dispatched to Ein al-Assad airbase in al-Anbar province.

“A number of US military planes, carrying weapons and military equipment, arrived at Ein al-Assad airbase in al-Baghdadi region in the town of Hit in Western al-Ramadi. No reason has yet been cited for these flights to the airbase and the details about the weapons which are said to be advanced,” the source was quoted as saying by Iraq’s al-Wa’e news agency.

He added that a few days ago, a large number of US military vehicles had also arrived at Ein al-Assad, noting that the American forces take assistance from the security companies for transferring military equipment to their positions in Iraq and the military men are sent to different places on planes.

Iraq’s Ein al-Assad airbase hosted US President Donald Trump on December 26 before the New Year. Trump underlined in his remarks that he did not intend to withdraw forces from Iraq at all.