An Iraqi politician and former official warned that any ground military operation by the United States in Iraq’s territory is “illegal” as the country’s parliament has given no permission for such offensives.
Mowaffak al-Rubaie, a prominent Iraqi politician and active civil rights campaigner who served as the national security adviser from 2004 to 2009, told the Tasnim News Agency on Tuesday that the US is not legally allowed to have military presence in Iraq.
“The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the US and Iraq expired on 31 December 2011 and has not been extended by Iraq,” Rubaie stressed.
Therefore, he added, the Iraqi government cannot permit US military action in the Arab country, and if needed, it should be ratified in the parliament.
“Any US military operation in the territory of Iraq is illegal because the Iraqi parliament has not given such permission to the US, and the government is also not allowed to give such permission to the US government,” the Iraqi politician stated.
The remarks came after US forces and Kurdish Peshmerga on Thursday conducted a joint rescue operation in Hawija, south of Kirkuk, allegedly freeing 69 prisoners and killing 20 ISIL militants.
Iraqi groups have expressed concerns over the operation, saying it was an action against the Iraqi central government, and Baghdad must prevent further operations of this kind.