U.S. to End International Military Coalition in Iraq
The United States has begun talks to pull its troops out of Iraq. U.S. Ambassador Alina Romanowski handed a letter to Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein on Wednesday asking to initiate talks on ending the U.S.-led international military coalition. However, attacks from Iran-backed militia groups continue, and Iraqi forces are not ready to fight them alone.
Nullified preconditions: The U.S. has roughly 2,500 troops in Iraq who have been assisting and training local forces to fight against the Islamic State since its resurgence in 2014. Other mostly European countries also have a few hundred troops in Iraq as part of the U.S.-led coalition.
U.S. troops have been under attack repeatedly by Iran-backed militants. The latest incident occurred on Tuesday, when militants fired two one-way attack drones at the al-Asad Air Base, injuring four U.S. personnel and damaging infrastructure. The U.S. responded by striking three of the militia’s facilities in western Iraq.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani has denounced America’s retaliations and called for the removal of U.S. troops to reduce violence.
Previously, the U.S. was unwilling to withdraw its troops for fear it would embolden Iran and other regional rivals. The U.S. said attacks from militants must first stop. Now it has dropped this precondition and is willing to negotiate a withdrawal.
Iraq not ready: Earlier this month, Sudani announced the process to remove the U.S.-led military coalition had already begun, but he admitted that Iraqi forces were not ready to fight the Islamic State alone.
If the Iraqis insist on finishing the coalition, we will of course accept that and move to bilateral cooperation. But there are real dangers to Iraq’s security if that happens too quickly. … The Iraqi Army is stronger than it was but still lacks certain skills and is heavily dependent on the coalition for intelligence and logistics.
—Mohammed Shia al-Sudani
Backing out: Despite Iraq’s unpreparedness, America’s presence in the nation is no longer wanted. Withdrawing from Iraq will be another step in America’s disengagement from the Middle East.
Every important biblical prophecy that takes place in the Middle East occurs in a power vacuum created by America’s exit. In fact, Bible prophecy indicates that the U.S. will have vacated so entirely from the Middle East that it will not impact it at all.
—“America Is Back … ing Out”