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Lebanese Analyst: US after Using Iraq to Lay Siege on Neighbors

A prominent Lebanese analyst warned that the US threat to close its embassy in Baghdad is a plot to take control of Iraq’s sensitive corridors to remain focused on the neighboring states, including Iran.

“Washington is focused on Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, and Iraq is considered as one of the most important strategic countries for the US which has common borders with Iran, Syria, Turkey and Persian Gulf Arab states,” Wafiq Ibrahim told the Arabic-language al-Ma’aloumeh news website on Sunday.

“The US has plotted to take control of certain ground and air passages of Iraq under the pretext of supporting the diplomatic delegations,” he added.

Ibrahim warned that Washington seeks to deploy more military forces in Iraq through operations to target the diplomatic missions.

In relevant remarks earlier today, a senior Iraqi legislator said that the US threat to close its embassy in Baghdad is a plot to blame Hashd al-Shaabi (popular forces) for insecurities in Iraq.

“Washington’s threats of closing its embassy in Baghdad is aimed at provoking the public opinion about the suspicious insecurities in the country and pave the ground for targeting Hashd al-Shaabi within the framework of the US new scenario,” Mahdi Amarli told the Arabic-language Baghdad al-Youm news website on Sunday.

He dismissed any involvement of Hash al-Shaabi in violation of security of diplomatic places, saying, “Actually, if they were after a war, they would declare it officially.”

His remarks came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened to close the American Embassy in Baghdad within weeks if Iraqi leaders fail to prevent firing rockets at the compound. He tried to accuse Hashd al-Shaabi for the attacks.

Hashd al-Shaabi officials have blamed the US for the recent rocket attacks in Baghdad.

Earlier this week, Kataeb Hezbollah group, affiliated to Hashd al-Shaabi, blamed the US spy agency, CIA, for the Monday rocket attack on residential areas in Baghdad.

“The CIA’s footsteps is seen in the criminal operations in al-Radwaniyah and scientific evidence and proofs confirm it,” Kataeb Hezbollah said.

It called for the formation of a joint committee by Hashd al-Shaabi and the Iraqi interior ministry to investigate about the attack.

Five civilians, including two women and three children, were killed in a rocket attack near Baghdad airport last Monday, the Iraqi Defense Ministry said.

The ministry’s Joint Operations Command said in a statement that two Katyusha rockets landed on a house in the Radwaniyah area.

Two other children were injured in the attack, the ministry said, adding that the rockets were launched from Jihad neighborhood in Baghdad.

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