By Robert Inlakesh, a political analyst, journalist, and documentary filmmaker currently based in London, UK. He has reported from and lived in the occupied Palestinian territories and currently works with Quds News and Press TV. Director of ‘Steal of the Century: Trump’s Palestine-Israel Catastrophe’. Follow him on Twitter @falasteen47
Prior to his inauguration, President Joe Biden had proclaimed that he wished to end the “forever wars” the US is fighting, just as former president Trump had claimed he would. But once you’re in office, it’s a different story.
NATO has decided to expand its footprint in Iraq, following a rocket attack in the city of Erbil that killed one American contractor and injured six more people. This, as the US State Department has threatened consequences for all those involved.
NATO announced this Thursday that it will boost its Iraq mission from 500 to 4,000 personnel, which, Pentagon spokesperson Jessica McNulty confirmed in an interview with CNN, will mean the US “will contribute its fair share to this important expanded mission” – a clear indication that Biden is ready to continue his career along the warpath. The United States currently has 2,500 troops active in Iraq, following the former Trump administration’s decision to lower troop presence – a policy the Biden administration is now poised to undo.
When in doubt, blame Iran
Despite the fact there has been no confirmation as to who exactly carried out the recent Erbil rocket attack, the US State Department has vowed a response against those involved. The group that claimed the attack, Saraya Awliya Al-Dam, has since been linked by the Western press to Iran. The likes of CNN have even called the group an “Iranian-backed militia”, for which the network provided no evidence and which is a potentially dangerous assertion, as many Americans will have been given the impression that Iran was somehow responsible. Iran has since denied any involvement in the Erbil attack and says it has never backed the Saraya Awliya Al-Dam militia group.
Following Trump’s ‘targeted assassination’ of Iranian Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) Chairman Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis in January 2020, the Iraqi parliament had voted to expel US forces from the country. Although the expulsion never occurred, US forces did begin to close down military facilities in the east of Iraq and concentrated their troop presence further to the west, in Anbar Province.
The United States invaded Iraq under the pretence of dispossessing former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein of his non-existent “weapons of mass destruction”. Now, almost 17 years and over a million dead Iraqis later, the war is close to the age that is required for enlistment to serve in the US military.
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