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US not to exit Iraq before reaching ‘malign goals’ there: Resistance group

Spokesman of the Iraqi Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq resistance movement’s political bureau Mahmoud al-Rubaie (File photo by al-Ahed news)

The spokesman of the Iraqi Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq resistance movement's political bureau says the United States does not want to withdraw its forces from Iraq before achieving its malign goals in the Arab country.

“The US is using the method of maneuvering to ensure its presence in Iraq for a longer period,” Mahmoud al-Rubaie told Iraq's Arabic-language al-Ahad television network on Saturday.

He added that the Iraqi people are still awaiting the removal of US forces from Iraqi lands in accordance with the Iraqi Parliament’s decision last year to expel all foreign forces from the country.

In recent months, Iraq and the US have been engaged in talks over what is called a withdrawal of US troops from the Arab country.

Last month, US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi declared that the US mission in Iraq will transition from combat to “advisory” role by the end of the year.

“The delegations decided, following recent technical talks, that the security relationship will fully transition to a training, advising, assisting, and intelligence-sharing role, and that there will be no US forces with a combat role in Iraq by December 31, 2021,” Baghdad and Washington said in a joint statement on July 26.

The agreement, which has effectively given a mere new name to the US military mission in Iraq, has enraged Iraqi resistance groups, which have played a significant role in defeating the Daesh terrorist group in Iraq in 2017.

The resistance groups demand the withdrawal of all American forces, especially the air force, over their destabilizing activities as part of a law adopted by the parliament in January 2020 in the aftermath of the US military’s assassination of two key commanders of the fight against Daesh, namely Iran’s Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).

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