NATO to increase troops in Iraq in declared bid to 'fight terrorism'
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the number of NATO troops in Iraq would increase eightfold, claiming that the move is intended to fight terrorism and ensure that the Daesh terrorist group does not return.
“Today, we decided to expand NATO’s training mission in Iraq,” Stoltenberg said at a Thursday press conference, adding that the “size of our mission will increase from 500 personnel to around 4,000.”
He said training activities will include more Iraqi security institutions and areas beyond Baghdad.
“We will do this in incremental and in, what should I say, and based on demand from the Iraqi authorities. But there are several bases already in Iraq that we can use. Partly bases where NATO Allies already operate under the umbrella of the US Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh and partly other Iraqi bases,” Stoltenberg stated.
Some 2,500 US terrorist forces are already stationed in Iraq. Back in January 2020, the Iraqi Parliament voted to demand that US troops leave the country.
The vote came after the US assassination of Iran's legendary commander General Qassem Soleimani and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a terrorist drone strike in Baghdad on January 3, 2020. The two commanders were key figures in the final defeat of Daesh in Iraq in 2017.
The US assassination led to the incremental growth of anti-American sentiments in Iraq and other regional countries.
Last Friday, Russia's Sputnik news agency said Western intelligence services and Daesh commanders had held a series of meetings to coordinate their future plans.
Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen TV also reported last month that the US military had transferred Daesh prisoners to the Iraqi-Syrian border in order to provide a pretext for its continued presence in the region and for future attacks.
US convoys targeted in southern Iraq
On Friday morning, Iraqi sources reported that a US military logistics convoy was targeted in southern Iraq.
According to the Saberin news channel, the convoy was attacked while passing through the city of Nasiriyah, the capital of Dhi Qar Governorate.
Another US military logistics convoy was attacked in Iraq’s Al Diwaniyah province on Thursday evening.
Meanwhile, a number of Iraqi lawmakers warned of Washington’s interference in the domestic affairs of the West Asian country, especially in the upcoming parliamentary election as well as military and security issues in Iraq.
They called for an end to the US interference in Iraq’s domestic affairs.
They also cited illegal and diplomatic actions by the US embassy in Baghdad, including its fear-mongering among Iraqi citizens, and called on the Iraqi government to stop such illegal actions.