middle east

Ex-Iraqi PM blames predecessor for 2014 US redeployment

Haidar al-Abadi blames predecessor Nuri al-Maliki for inviting US troops back to Iraq after emergence of Daesh

Ekip  | 09.01.2019
Ex-Iraqi PM blames predecessor for 2014 US redeployment Former Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi

Iraq

By Amir al-Saadi

BAGHDAD 

Former Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, leader of the Nasr parliamentary bloc, said Wednesday that the government of his predecessor, Nuri al-Maliki, had asked the U.S. to redeploy troops to Iraq in 2014.

Al-Maliki served as prime minister from 2006 to late 2014.

Al-Abadi’s remarks come amid repeated demands by Iraqi Shia political forces that U.S. troops currently deployed in Iraq leave the country.

Local political forces seen as being close to Iran have continued to call for a full U.S. troop withdrawal since Baghdad declared victory over the Daesh terrorist group in late 2017.

According to members of the Nasr parliamentary bloc, which is led by al-Abadi, U.S. forces were redeployed to Iraq in mid-2014 -- after Daesh overran much of the country -- at al-Maliki’s request.

The assertion comes in response to recent claims by certain politicians that al-Abadi, who served as PM from late 2014 to late 2018, was responsible for the return of U.S. troops to Iraq after a major drawdown in 2011.

Roughly 5,000 U.S. troops have reportedly been redeployed to Iraq since a U.S.-led coalition was cobbled together in 2014 to fight Daesh.

According to members of al-Abadi’s Nasr coalition, fresh U.S. troops were already in Iraq two months before al-Abadi assumed office.

Daesh overran much of northern and western Iraq in the summer of 2014.

Following a three-year conflict that ended with the fall of Daesh-held Mosul in late 2017, Baghdad declared that the terrorist group’s military presence in Iraq had effectively been brought to an end.

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