Iraq Closer To Expelling US Troops After Drone Strike In Busy Neighborhood

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Feb 08, 2024 - 11:45 PM

The fallout continues in the wake of the Pentagon's assassination by drone strike of at least one or more Kataib Hezbollah leaders in a crowded east Baghdad neighborhood Wednesday night.

Iraq's government on Thursday condemned the violation of the country's sovereignty, and warned it brings political leadership a big step closer to kicking American troops out of Iraq altogether.

Iraq’s military commander-in-chief condemned the "blatant assassination" of an Iranian-backed militia leader "in the heart of a residential neighborhood" in Baghdad, which could have killed many bystanders.The statement underscored that the US has shown "no regard for civilian lives or international laws."

Prior protests outside Green Zone near the US Embassy, via CNN

"By this act, the American forces jeopardize civil peace, violate Iraqi sovereignty, and disregard the safety and lives of our citizens," the Iraqi military statement said.

There were large overnight protests outside the 'Green Zone' where the US Embassy is located in Baghdad. These protests will likely persist in the coming days and could grow violent, as has happened in recent years.

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) statement which was issued within hours after the drone strike on the SUV claimed there were no civilian casualties:

There are no indications of collateral damage or civilian casualties at this time. The United States will continue to take necessary action to protect our people.

Still, the Pentagon is expected to mount more targeted attacks pm senior Iranian-backed militia commanders in the wake of last month's drone strike on a US base along the Jordan-Syria border, which killed three US Army soldiers.

Currently, some 2,500 US troops remain in Iraq, ostensibly still there as part of a 'counter-ISIS' mission, though ISIS terrorists have long been driven underground. Likely there are many thousands more US contractors and security operators throughout the country, and especially in the north in Erbil.

The Iraqi military statement concluded by calling out the ambiguous "mission" and changing rationale for US troops remaining in the country. It said that "even more concerning is that the coalition consistently deviates from the reasons and objectives for its presence on our territory."

One of the real reasons US troops are still in Iraq is to provide support for the occupation of Syria across the border.

American outposts on the Iraqi side assists with logistics and staging, and also has come under accusations of supporting the 'oil theft' happening in the Deir Ezzor region. In some cases tanker trucks have been seen crossing into Iraq from Syria, laden with Syrian oil.

Meanwhile in Iraq today...