Pentagon Refuses to Comment on Report About Resumption of Operations With Iraqi Forces
The command of the International Coalition against ISIS and the US Department of Defense refused to confirm reports about the resumption of joint military operations with Iraqi forces.
The New York Times on Wednesday quoted US officials as saying that the US resumed its joint military operations with Iraqi forces, following a halt of such operations in the wake of the killing of Iranian Al-Quds Commander General Qassem Soleimani in a US raid in Baghdad earlier this month.
The Pentagon did not respond to a request by Asharq Al-Awsat to confirm the news.
Meanwhile, the concerned US military circles are waiting to announce whether the move had actually taken place, as pro-Iranian factions have intensified their campaigns calling for the withdrawal of US troops, in line with a recent decision by the Iraqi parliament, taken in the absence of Kurdish and Sunni deputies and a number of Shiite MPs.
The Pentagon announced in statements published by US media that it had no plans to withdraw or reduce the forces currently present in Iraq.
The New York Times quoted two military officials as saying that the Pentagon wanted to resume, as soon as possible, cooperation with the Iraqi army to combat ISIS, to prevent the terrorist organization from taking advantage of the status quo and reactivating its operations.
Washington halted joint military operations with Iraq on Jan. 5, two days after Soleimani was killed. US President Donald Trump has threatened to impose economic sanctions on Iraq if Baghdad decides to remove the 5,200 US soldiers without agreement and understanding with the United States.