Pompeo argues that privately Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish Iraqi leaders do not oppose the US military presence in Iraq
NEW YORK, Jan. 13 (EUROPE PRESS) –
The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has announced his country's intention to negotiate with the Iraqi Government a reduction of troops deployed in the country, despite the fact that Baghdad has repeatedly asked for his departure.
Pompeo explained during an intervention at the Hoover Institution in Stanford, California, that they will work with the “duly elected leaders of Iraq to get to the right place” about the number of US troops in Iraq, reports the CNN television network.
In any case, Pompeo has stressed that the Iraqi leaders with whom he has spoken have stated privately that they are not opposed to the United States maintaining a presence in the country.
“I have had about 50 phone calls with several Iraqis in the last ten days. Sunni, Kurdish, Shiite leaders from across the spectrum also from the Shiite community. They will not say it publicly, but privately everyone is happy that America is still there executing their anti-terrorism campaign, ensuring that the Islamic State does not reemerge and giving Iraqis an opportunity to gain their sovereignty and independence, “he has argued.
Pompeo has said that he “fully” supports the efforts of President Donald Trump to “reduce the US military presence in the region.”
However, this Monday the office of Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has stressed that “there is no agreement with the United States” so that US troops can remain in the country, an official Abdul spokesman told CNN Mahdi, William Warda, so the motion passed in the Iraqi Parliament on January 5 for the immediate expulsion of US forces is mandatory.
“Until now, the Iraqi Government is obliged to apply the decision of the Iraqi Parliament, which argues that all foreign troops must withdraw from Iraq. With foreign troops it refers not only to US troops, but to all foreign troops with a presence in Iraq, “he stressed.
“There is no agreement with the US Administration to maintain the troops and the Government is managing the implementation of the decision of the Iraqi Parliament,” he said.
As for the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani on January 5 in a US bombing in Baghdad, Pompeo has warned that the danger posed by the forces commanded by Soleimani “has not been left behind.”
Thus, he has again referred to the “imminent” attacks prepared by Soleimani: “the risk was real and growing and our actions that day reduced the risk.” “It is never rolled, but it reduces it,” he has riveted.
However, Pompeo, former director of the CIA, has acknowledged that “the intelligence community makes mistakes all the time.” “Sometimes it happens, but the profound capacity and reach of American intelligence is enormous,” he concluded.
Soleimani died along with 'number two' of the Popular Mobilization Forces (FMP), Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, and several Iraqi militiamen, after which Tehran promised he would take revenge for the attack.
In response, Iran attacked with missiles two military bases located in Iraq in which American soldiers are deployed, in which the Iranian supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, described Washington as a “slap”. Trump said hours later that the attacks produced no casualties.