Posted by Stephen Lendman Posted on 18 March 2020

Reviled Pentagon Forces Refuse to Leave Iraq

Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and other countries are illegally and belligerently occupied by US forces.

At war on their people, they refuse to leave, supporting jihadists in the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa and elsewhere.

In Syria, the Trump regime controls northern and southern parts of the country, its illegally established bases used as platforms for aggression, to train jihadists, and steal Syrian oil.

US bases in Iraq are used to advance its regional imperium by waging war OF terror for unchallenged control over this oil-rich part of the world.

Iraqi bases also maintain supply lines to Pentagon bases in Syria.

Without them, US control over northern parts of the Syrian Arab Republic would be weakened.

US aggression in Iraq this year infuriated its ruling authorities, lawmakers and people, wanting an end to the Pentagon’s presence in the country.

No status of forces agreement (SOFA) authorizes the presence of US troops, an informal arrangement alone — to combat the scourge of ISIS the US created and supports.

Terms of an earlier 2009 US SOFA with Iraq (no longer applicable now) required Iraqi government approval for US military operations within or from the country’s territory.

Following last week’s Pentagon terror-bombing strikes on  Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) connected to Iraq’s military, Baghdad called for an immediate withdrawal of US and allied forces.

Legislation was approved in January, demanding it following the Trump regime’s assassination of Iranian Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani, Iraqi PMU head Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and others with them after arrival at Baghdad’s International Airport.

It states that Baghdad should “(w)ork to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason.”

Imperial arrogance defines US relations with other countries. The Trump regime refuses to withdraw Pentagon forces from Iraq.

In January, the State Department said any US delegation sent to Baghdad would not discuss withdrawal of US forces from the country.

Permanent US illegal occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and other nations the Pentagon attacked aggressively is planned.

Under international law, foreign military forces may not enter or remain in a country without permission of its government.

UN Charter Article 2 (4) states: “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

Since establishment of the UN post-WW II, the US repeatedly breached its founding principles time and again — including the core principle of non-use of force that’s never permitted preemptively by one nation against another, only in self-defense if authorized by Security Council members.

A state of war exists between the US and Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, and other countries — including by other means against numerous nations, the UN and world community doing nothing to enforce the rule of law against aggressor USA and its imperial partners.

On Friday, US CENTCOM commander General Kenneth Mckenzie said the Pentagon intends to maintain the presence two aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf to counter an Iranian threat that doesn’t exist.

He falsely claimed multiple terror-bombing strikes on Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units were “designed to prevent future attacks on us, which would be the definition of a defensive action.”

There’s nothing remotely “defensive” about naked aggression, a US specialty in multiple theaters, notably Iraq directly and indirectly for the past 40 years.

The US is a hostile/illegal occupier of Iraqi territory, supporting terrorism, not combatting it.

As long as Pentagon forces remain in the country unwanted, endless conflict will continue. The same goes for Syria.

Rocket attacks on US bases in Iraq will likely continue sending a message that Pentagon forces aren’t wanted, demanding they leave.

There’s no way to stop them, no way to avoid US casualties. The only acceptable solution is withdrawal of Pentagon forces from Iraq — from other regional countries as well where their presence is reviled. 

Following last Thursday’s terror-bombing strikes by Pentagon warplanes on Iraqi Popular Mobilization Unit sites, a PMU statement denounced them, saying:

The Trump regime’s hostile “occupation forces must bear the consequences of their illegal presence and disregard for the will and dignity of the Iraqi people,” adding:

“The right to resist the occupiers and invaders is guaranteed by all existing norms and international law.”

As long as unwanted US forces remain in the country, resistance is virtually certain to continue until they leave.

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