A former Iraqi diplomat warns that the US withdrawal might present an opportunity for some elements to fill the void. One of these players could be Daesh* terrorists, while the other could be Iran, whose militias ostensibly controls large chunks of the capital, Baghdad.
Last week, the US announced that it would pull out all of its combat troops, 2,500 people, from Iraq by the end of the year.
But Feisal Amin al-Istrabadi, a former Iraqi diplomat who served as the nation’s ambassador to the United Nations, says the pullout will be largely “symbolic” and it won’t have any significant impact on the ground.
That mistake is still fresh in the minds of many Iraqis. In 2010, al-Maliki vowed that his country would be free of the American presence by the end of 2011. But the moment their troops started leaving, terrorism began rearing its head.
As Daesh terrorists started seizing control of large swathes of Iraqi territory, al-Maliki came running back to the US, asking for military assistance.
Al-Kadhimi doesn’t want to put himself in a similar position, says al-Istrabadi, especially as the parliamentary elections in Iraq are just around the corner and the PM is hoping to be re-elected.
Remaining in power won’t be easy for al-Kadhimi. He does enjoy the support of the public but to stay in his seat, he will also need to find a middle ground between appeasing…