A report reveals 10 American measures concerning Iran, the largest of which is in Kurdistan
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01/25 2020 00:07:43
The topic of the American military presence in Iraq was a major item in two separate meetings that President Trump held in Davos with his Iraqi counterpart Barham Salih, and the President of the Kurdistan Region Negervan Barzani, as a contrast emerged between the White House’s emphasis on “continuing economic and security partnership” with Iraq, and cooperation with Kurdistan Iraq in the war against ISIS.
Quoted from Western officials, a Middle East newspaper report, seen by Shafak News, said there are 10 proposals to deal with the demands of Iraqi politicians to discuss the US presence and maintain tools to "confront Iran", including:
1 - Emphasizing that any discussion of the American presence must address other matters broader from the military side, as the American envoy to the International Alliance against ISIS, Ambassador James Jeffrey, announced the day before yesterday that «Iraqi officials should think about the bilateral relations that go beyond the issue of the American presence ».
2 - Urged the "North Atlantic Treaty Organization" (NATO) to play a greater role in the fight against "ISIS" if Washington decided, in accordance with an understanding with Baghdad, to redeploy, or because the American forces were busy defending themselves after the escalation of pressures and threats in recent months, especially after the assassination of a leader "Quds Force" in the "Revolutionary Guards" Qassem Soleimani. This will be an item for the International Alliance meeting in Denmark next Wednesday.
3 - Discussing with the Kurdistan Region Presidency to increase the American presence, whether in terms of the number of individuals or military bases. And intelligence sources reported yesterday that there were proposals that included setting up points - military bases near Sulaimaniya, southern Erbil and near Halabja. The proposals included raising the number of American forces from 500 to two thousand soldiers, in addition to five thousand present in Iraq. Diplomats said that strengthening the deployment in Kurdistan aims to protect military bases against increased risks.
4 - Integration between the military presence in western Iraq and eastern Syria, as most of the forces that withdrew from east of the Euphrates, at the beginning of the year, resided in Iraqi Kurdistan, so that the number of American forces decreased from one thousand to 500 elements present near the oil fields east of the Euphrates.
5 - Maintaining the Al-Tanf base in the corner of the Syrian-Iraqi-Jordanian borders, with 150 American soldiers, missile launchers, and air protection, to cut off the Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Beirut road.
6 - Maintaining the air presence of the international coalition against "ISIS" in the airspace of northeastern Syria, and keeping the main allies, Britain and France, on the battlefield to fight ISIS and supporting the "Syrian Democratic Forces".
7 - Preventing Syrian forces and Iranian organizations from advancing to the Al-Tanf base and adhering to the "rules of engagement".
8- Removing the Russian forces from the strip that extends from Fash Khabour in the Syrian-Iraqi-Turkish corner to the north of Albukamal on the Euphrates River. This happened several times in the last days, when American patrols blocked the road in front of the Russian police who tried to reach Fesh Khabur, the gate of eastern Euphrates, on Iraqi Kurdistan.
9 - Adherence to the agreement "to prevent a clash" between Russia and America in the northeastern airspace of Syria, especially after Moscow strengthened its air system in Qamishli.
10 - The continuation of "mysterious raids" on Iranian sites in Albukamal, which Tehran has tried to establish infrastructure to serve as an alternative route between Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut.
According to the information, an American delegation is touring London and Brussels in the coming days to hold talks with European officials to impose economic sanctions, and agree to coordinate steps in Iraq and Syria to pressure Moscow and confront Tehran's influence after Soleimani.