Iran advises U.S. to avoid adventurous moves in Iraq

April 1, 2020 - 12:57

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Ministry Abbas Mousavi on Wednesday urged U.S. forces in Iraq to respect the demands of the Iraqi people to leave the country and avoid creating tension in the Wes Asia region.

On January 5, the Iraqi Parliament voted to obligate Iraq's government "to work towards ending the presence of all foreign troops on Iraqi soil". The vote represented a rebuke of the United States over its targeted airstrike on Iranian anti-terror commander Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi military commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis at Baghdad International Airport on January 3.

Mousavi said while the UN secretary general and the international community are insisting on the need to pull back from hostilities and focus on containing the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. moves in Iraq are in contrast to “the official demands of the Iraqi government, parliament, people and create tension.”

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman warned these moves “can push the region toward instability and a catastrophic situation.”

According to Press TV, Iraqi security sources said on Sunday that new U.S. troops had been deployed to Ain al-Asad in the western Iraqi province of Anbar amid reports that the Pentagon was preparing for a new escalation. 

The reported deployment came after the New York Times said last week that the Pentagon had ordered military commanders to plan for an escalation of American combat in Iraq.

Several American officials told the paper that the Pentagon had ordered planners at the Central Command and in Iraq to draw up a strategy to dismantle Kata'ib Hezbollah, which is part of the anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Shaabi.

The U.S. has time and again targeted PMU positions, blaming the major anti-terror force for rocket attacks against American troops based in Iraq over the past few months, a charge the popular group has strongly denied.

Iraq’s Al Hadath news agency has also raised the possibility of a large-scale military operation by American forces against pro-government forces in Iraq.

It also reported that the spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq had advised people to stay away from U.S. military bases as well as facilities run by Iraqi resistance groups.

Kuwaiti newspaper al-Qabas reported that the number of American Apache helicopters and drones flying over Iraq was unprecedented since the U.S. invasion of the country in 2003.

PA/PA

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