In support of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, prepare to fire their M777 towed 155 mm Howitzer at Qayyarah West Airfield, Iraq, September 10, 2019. Soldiers conduct a fire mission to disrupt known enemy positions on Qanus Island, Iraq. As long as Daesh still poses a danger to the security of Iraq and northeast Syria, the Government of Iraq and ISF partners, supported by Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, will continue to strike and ensure the military defeat of Daesh. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Kahlil Dash)
In support of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, prepare to fire their M777 towed 155 mm Howitzer at Qayyarah West Airfield, Iraq, September 10, 2019. Soldiers conduct a fire mission to disrupt known enemy positions on Qanus Island, Iraq. As long as Daesh still poses a danger to the security of Iraq and northeast Syria, the Government of Iraq and ISF partners, supported by Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, will continue to strike and ensure the military defeat of Daesh. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Kahlil Dash)

No Plans to Leave Iraq, Defense Official Says

The U.S. military presence in Iraq is predicated on permission to be there from the Iraqi government, and U.S. forces will remain so long as the Iraqi government agrees, the undersecretary of defense for policy said.

“Our intention is to stay. Do we plan to change the posture of U.S. forces? Not at this time,” said John C. Rood, who spoke yesterday during a Defense Writers Group meeting in Washington.

“We are very clear that we are there with the permission of the Iraqi government,” Rood said. “And that is a necessary condition for U.S. forces to be there.”

U.S. military initiatives in Iraq have been effective, he said. Those initiatives include helping Iraqi military forces build their capabilities, providing other types of assistance and also assisting with the conduct of the fight against ISIS.

“ISIS at one time occupied and controlled large swaths of Iraqi territory,” Rood said. “The fight against ISIS is not done. There are still a substantial number of ISIS fighters there. And the Iraqi government knows that and they really value — and I heard this directly from them — the partnership with U.S. forces, the partnership with the U.S. military in addressing that.”

In support of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, prepare to fire M232A1 artillery round at Qayyarah West Airfield, Iraq, September 10, 2019. Soldiers conduct a fire mission to disrupt known enemy positions on Qanus Island, Iraq. As long as Daesh still poses a danger to the security of Iraq and northeast Syria, the Government of Iraq and ISF partners, supported by Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, will continue to strike and ensure the military defeat of Daesh. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Kahlil Dash)
In support of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, prepare to fire M232A1 artillery round at Qayyarah West Airfield, Iraq, September 10, 2019. Soldiers conduct a fire mission to disrupt known enemy positions on Qanus Island, Iraq. As long as Daesh still poses a danger to the security of Iraq and northeast Syria, the Government of Iraq and ISF partners, supported by Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, will continue to strike and ensure the military defeat of Daesh. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Kahlil Dash)

Soldiers lay protected behind a berm. One points a rifle. Another looks over the berm.

Protests in Iraq, which kicked off in October, have been met in some cases with violence on the part of the Iraqi government, he said. This is something that Rood said the U.S. has addressed.

“Obviously, the violence occurring in the protests and against the protestors is also something we persistently express concerns about, directly, and I did, to the Iraqi leadership,” he said. “We’ve made no secret of the fact we’d like to see greater restraint exercised in terms of the use of violence there.”

Rood also said, however, he finds the tone of those protests to be noteworthy — especially in the national identity being expressed by the Iraqi population.

“There is an Iraqi identity that is evident in the protests and in the reaction to them throughout the country that is more pronounced, I think, than most Iraq observers have seen in recent months and years,” he said. “[It’s] an Iraqi identity and a willingness and a desire to be a state that stands on its own two feet to a greater extent, and a reaction against some of the negative Iranian influence, the influence of other countries trying to interfere in internal Iraqi activities.”
Source: US Department of Defence

In support of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, prepare to fire their M777 towed 155 mm Howitzer at Qayyarah West Airfield, Iraq, September 10, 2019. Soldiers conduct a fire mission to disrupt known enemy positions on Qanus Island, Iraq. As long as Daesh still poses a danger to the security of Iraq and northeast Syria, the Government of Iraq and ISF partners, supported by Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, will continue to strike and ensure the military defeat of Daesh. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Kahlil Dash)
In support of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, prepare to fire their M777 towed 155 mm Howitzer at Qayyarah West Airfield, Iraq, September 10, 2019. Soldiers conduct a fire mission to disrupt known enemy positions on Qanus Island, Iraq. As long as Daesh still poses a danger to the security of Iraq and northeast Syria, the Government of Iraq and ISF partners, supported by Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, will continue to strike and ensure the military defeat of Daesh. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Kahlil Dash)

Gallery for No Plans to Leave Iraq, Defense Official Says

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.