Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein’s recent statements about the need for US forces in the Arab country have drawn strong criticism from anti-terror resistance groups and political leaders.
Speaking at a joint press conference alongside his American counterpart Antony Blinken in Washington on Friday, the Iraqi foreign minister said that Baghdad still required Washington’s help, and called for maintaining bilateral security cooperation.
“We need to work with the International Coalition, led by the United States, against the terrorists of Daesh,” Hussein alleged. “We need cooperation in the field of intelligence. We need help with training. We need troops to help us in the air.”
The comments came at a time when American and Iraqi officials are finalizing a shift in the US military mission in Iraq to what they call “a purely advisory role” by the end of the year.
Citing a US official and two people familiar with the matter, Politico reported on Thursday that the change is planned to be announced on Monday after Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi meets with US President Joe Biden at the White House.
In response, the Iraqi Resistance Coordination Committee, which consists of representatives of anti-terror factions within the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Sha’abi, underlined the need for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the country.
In a statement carried by Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen TV channel, the committee warned that the meddling of foreign forces in Iraq’s security is meant to spy on the work of the country’s security agencies, adding that the mission of the US Air Force in Iraq is to defend the security of the Zionist regime and spy on the resistance.
“We stress the resistance’s conditions not to allow the presence of any foreign military personnel on Iraqi soil,” it added. “The pullout of foreign occupying forces from Iraq must be done completely from all Iraqi territory in order for the process to be real.”
The secretary general of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq movement, a subdivision of Hashd al-Sha’abi, said FM Hussein’s remarks are “very unfortunate and unacceptable” for all Iraqis who are proud of their military and security institutions.
Ammar Hakim, Iraqi Shia cleric and head of National Wisdom Movement (Hikma), expressed hope that the Iraqi delegation’s talks with the US would take into account the country’s interests through their professional conduct.
Source: Press TV