North AmericaIraq

US has contempt for Iraqi sovereignty; troop presence 100% illegal

The presence of American troops in Iraq is “100 percent illegal” as—contrary to its stated intention--the United States is using the fight against terrorism as a pretext to prolong its stay in the Arab country, according to a political analyst.

The comments by Edward Corrigan, an international law expert and journalist in Canada, came after the defense and security committee of Iraq’s parliament called last week for the evacuation of US combat troops from the American embassy in Baghdad.  

Badr al-Ziyadi, a member of the defense and security committee, called for the evacuation on Monday and told al-Maalomah news agency that the US seeks to keep its forces in Iraq with no intention of ever withdrawing.  

Two lawmakers with the Fatah (Conquest) Alliance at the Iraqi parliament also warned of US intentions for a permanent military presence in Iraq.

The MPs stressed that the Iraqi security forces are capable of protecting the country, adding the US combat forces have no role in fighting terrorism in Iraq.

“I agree that the US troops are not there for combating terrorism. They are a disruptive force and while they claim to be fighting terrorism they are in fact enabling the terrorists and using the terrorists as a pretext to stay in Iraq. Their purpose is to try and destabilize the country,” Corrigan told Press TV on Saturday.

“Their presence is 100 percent illegal. They do not have the permission of the Iraqi authorities to be there,” the Canada-based analyst said, adding that, “There is also no United Nations Security Council resolution making their presence legal under international law. The US troops are an illegal occupation force.”

Corrigan stressed that, “There is a lot of animosity against the American troop presence in Iraq,” and said, “The Iraqi parliament and Iraqi political leaders have frequently called for the US troop withdrawal… which shows the United States has contempt for Iraq’s sovereignty.”

Asked about the consequences of the continuation of US troop deployment in other countries against the will of the targeted nation, the political analyst said the move was in breach of international law and had already brought about attacks on American forces.

“The United States thinks it is above international law and can do what it wants,” Corrigan said. “The Americans are also illegally in Syria and are stealing Syria’s oil and other resources in violation of international law and against the will of the Syrian government. There are mounting attacks against the American troops in Syria and also in Iraq. I expect that these attacks will intensify until the American troops leave.”

Anti-American sentiments have been running high in Iraq since the US assassinated Iran’s anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, and the deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, in Baghdad on January 3, 2020.

Just days later, Iraqi lawmakers unanimously passed a bill mandating the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq.

There are currently about 2,500 American troops in Iraq. 

Iraqi resistance groups have pledged to take up arms against US forces if Washington fails to comply with the parliamentary order.

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