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‘US seeks to turn Iraq, Syria into American military-guarded oilfields’

A veteran Iraqi political expert says the United States aims to strip Iraq and Syria of their status as sovereign states, practically turning the Arab countries into mere oilfields guarded by the American military.

Middle East affairs’ expert Haitham al-Khazali made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Thursday.

Washington, he said, launched the scheme last year, and intends to fully implement it by 2030.

The US has been conjuring up excuse after excuse to prolong its political and military interference in the countries. 

It invaded Iraq in 2003 under the pretext of “war on terror,” giving rise to far-reaching anti-American sentiment and fueling raging sectarian violence.

In 2014, Washington seized on the presence of Daesh, which had emerged amid the chaos created by the US-led invasion, to rebrand and significantly reinforce occupation of the country under the guise of fighting the Takfiri terrorist group. The US-led coalition invaded Syria too, despite Damascus’ stiff opposition and its legitimate concerns about its sovereignty.

Khazali’s remarks about America’s intentions regarding the countries’ oil resources came as American troops have taken control of Syria’s al-Omar Oilfield in the eastern province of Dayr al-Zawer, and are helping out Washington’s unabashed theft of the crude.

He explained how the US would try to assume control over Iraq’s oil resources too.

The expert predicted that Washington would try to have Baghdad set up free trade zones in the northern city of Kirkuk and the southeastern city of Basra. 

The oil-rich cities host the lion’s share of Iraq’s wealth, he said. Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi could start selling the government’s assets there under the American pressure to pave the way for creation of the trade zones and Washington’s potential takeover of the cities’ oilfields, Khazali added.

He said Washington would try to advance its plans for the Iraqi crude as part of a vast project that seeks to guarantee “its hegemony over the country’s economy and the Iraqi people’s political will.” 

The US, he noted, would try to promote its goals concerning Iraq during a pending trip to Washington by a 25-strong Iraqi delegation, headed by Kadhimi.

The US’s domineering scheme would, meanwhile, try to steal the control of state health institutions and hospitals from Baghdad and hand them over to the private sector, where Western influence abounds, Khazali said.

He, accordingly, did not rule out the existence of an American role in the blazes that ravaged several Iraqi hospitals this year, killing scores of people. The fires, he speculated, might have been the result of sabotage operations aimed at throwing the government’s ability to run countrywide hospitals into question.

’US seeks to push Iraq towards Israel’

According to the expert, Washington would try to use the opportunity of the trip to make Baghdad submit to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s conditions for economic assistance. It would also try to realize the so-called “New Levant” project, which foresees Israel, the US’s most important regional ally’s dominance over the region, Khazali said.

In order to secure the IMF’s approval, Baghdad would have to lean towards Tel Aviv and the regional camp comprising the countries that have normalized their ties with the occupying regime, noted the pundit.

“Should this happen, the US would no longer need to maintain so many troops in Iraq, and would keep a small number to secure the White House’s assets in the country,” he remarked.

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