American military officials say the upcoming US withdrawal has emboldened Iranian-backed militias, which they blame for recent deadly attacks and allege are stockpiling weapons.
As the clock ticks toward full US military withdrawal from Iraq, American officials who want troops to stay longer continue to warn of a growing Iranian threat.
Some argue that the diminishing US presence is turning Iraq into an even-more contentious regional battlefield, giving rise to a low-grade war between the remaining American forces and what the US says are militias tied directly to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose rule is dependent on Iraqi parties with ties to Iran, appears unable or unwilling to crack down on the most lethal Iranian-back militias, blamed for June attacks that killed the largest number of American forces in two years.
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My Comment: All parties in Iraq are positioning themselves for when the Americans leave …. and even though there are many in Iraq who want a continued U.S. presence, their voice is presently not being heard.