“US forces intend to establish a new base in Umm Samij area north of al-Baghdadi district in the city of Hit in order to deploy a Patriot anti-missile system, and protect Ain al-Assad air base as well as other locations in western regions against possible attacks,” the unnamed source told Iraq’s Arabic-language al-Ahad news agency on Monday.
He noted, “Identification of a location for the deployment of the Patriot missile system is the first of its kind in Iraq. Such measures are indicative of US forces’ intention to stay in their bases in the western regions of Iraq for a long period of time.”
Back on January 23, an Iraqi legislator condemned US plans to install Patriot missile systems in the Arab country, saying such deployment violates Iraq’s sovereignty.
“The Iraqi parliament represents all political groups and currents. The (parliamentary) decision demanding the withdrawal of US military forces is supported by the public opinion. Therefore, the [American] troops’ attempt to deploy Patriot missile systems in their bases in order to beef up their combat capabilities is rejected and considered a violation of our sovereignty,” Karim Alawi, a member of the parliament’s security and defense committee, told Arabic-language Baghdad Today news agency at the time.
An Iraqi MP says a US plan to deploy Patriot missile systems in the Arab country is a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.
He added, “The presence of US forces in Iraq is illegal. The recent parliamentary decision is clear. The ball is now in the government’s court to get those forces out. If it is not implemented, there will a reaction from all fronts, including filing a complaint with the United Nations and other Islamic organizations with the aim of removing American troops.”
The US is considering deploying the anti-missile system to purportedly protect American troops in Iraq.
The decision came after Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) fired a number of ballistic missiles at Ain al-Assad air base on January 8, in retaliation for a US airstrike authorized by President Donald Trump that assassinated Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, along with the deputy head of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and their companions near Baghdad International Airport on January 3.