Washington plans to keep some of the troops it is set to withdraw from Syria in U.S. military bases in northern Iraq’s Kirkuk.
Speaking exclusively to Yeni Şafak daily, Iraqi ex-colonel Waadallah Nafi said U.S. troops that have already been withdrawn from Syria through Iraq over the past few weeks were redeployed to American military bases in Kirkuk.
The troops in question were redeployed to the Kiwan airbase in Kirkuk and the Ayn al-Assad base in Anbar.
The move to redeploy troops near the Talafar region in northern Iraq is part of an American ploy to sow internal strife in the country, after the Hashd al-Shaabi forces were withdrawn from Tikrit, according to former lawmaker Nabil Harboul.
“The targets are Baghdad and Damascus, to connect the Israel-UAE-Saudi alliance,” pointed Harboul.
“They are working on polarizing populations along Arab-Kurd, Turkmen-Kurd, Shia-Sunni lines.”
Interviewed by Yeni Şafak daily, Iraqi Turkmen Front leader Ömer Beyoğlu pointed that Washington’s move to redeploy its troops to Kirkuk is to control the pipelines that pump 400,000 barrels of oil to Iran, and is the latest attempt by Washington to hand-over control of Mosul and Talafar to Peshmerga forces.
Beyoğlu warned of a calm before the storm in the region, in reference to what he called an American plan to lay siege to the Kiwan and al-Bagara regions from the north and south.
Last month Trump made the unexpected decision to withdraw 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria, sparking criticism from many allies and security aides, including his own Cabinet.
After the announcement, Secretary of Defense James Mattis submitted in his resignation letter.
The president went on to refute reports that he had given a four-month timetable for the withdrawal, saying that it would happen over a period of time. He, however, did not offer a clear time frame for when all U.S. troops would be out of the area.
Last week, Trump appeared to back off on his original comments calling for a rapid and speedy pullout from Syria.
"We're slowly sending our troops back home to be with their families, while at the same time fighting ISIS remnants," Trump tweeted last Monday, referring to the Daesh terrorist group.