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The flags of the Hashd and Hezbollah are raised at the funeral of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in an American raid in Baghdad. January 2020
Max Boot, an analyst at the US Council on Foreign Relations, warned of a "complete" American withdrawal from Iraq, at a time when the pro-Iranian militias offered to suspend missile attacks if Baghdad provided a timetable for the withdrawal of US forces from the country.
And recently, the United States announced plans to reduce the number of US forces in Iraq from 5,200 to 3,000. In late September, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened to close the US embassy in Baghdad completely if attacks by Iranian proxy forces continued.
" It might make sense for the United States to reduce its diplomatic mission in Baghdad, the largest in the world," said Bot in an analysis on the website of the Council on Foreign Relations , an independent research institute based in New York, given the continuing attacks by Iraqi militias, backed by Iran.
But he returned to say that this withdrawal "would, in fact, give Iran exactly what it wants. The survival of US forces in Iraq guarantees confronting Iranian influence, which still exists despite all the sanctions imposed by the administration of US President Donald Trump on Tehran."
Lebanonization of Iraq
He added, "Iran is trying (Lebanonization) Iraq, that is to say, turning Iraq into another Lebanon, as it allows the rule of a theoretically pro-Western government while militias loyal to it exercise the real power. In Lebanon, this force is Hezbollah. In Iraq, this force is militias like The Hezbollah Brigades and Asaib Ahl al-Haq. "
Bout used a previous analysis of "Iranian militia influence maps" by the late Iraqi researcher Hisham Al-Hashemi. Al-Hashemi found that the "gradual takeover of the militias over the state, under the pretext of reconstruction and reconciliation after the civil war, is part of sectarian warfare and an organized crime."
He emphasized that the militias "have extracted extensive control over a large part of the Iraqi economy: from airport customs, construction projects, oil fields, sewage, water, highways, colleges, public and private properties, tourist sites, and presidential palaces. The extortion of restaurants, cafes, and cargo trucks. Fishermen, farmers and displaced families. "
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