Iraq After the U.S. Withdrawal: Al Maliki against Turkey (On Turkey)
Crisis Group interview, Baghdad, 1 June At that point, one should expect to see Tehran mobilise Iraqi paramilitary groups in retaliation.
Iraqi Prime Minister Says U.S. Forces Must Leave On Time - WSJ
He warned of a Hashd response should another attack occur. Following the statement, a U. Crisis Group telephone interview, 22 August Hide Footnote The next day, the Pentagon, perhaps fearing retaliation, issued a statement denying U. Department of Defense, 26 August The Abdul-Mahdi government would be unable to stop the Hashd from striking back as it saw fit. Despite his efforts to reaffirm his command, several groups continue to operate in parallel to those factions that have formally integrated into the security forces.
These units are even outside the purview of the overarching Popular Mobilisation Commission. But if anything starts, they are ready to join. Hide Footnote A Hashd commander said:. Iran does not want a war, but if there is going to be one, it will resort to all its allies in Iraq: not just fighters under the Popular Mobilisation Commission but also those operating outside of it. Crisis Group phone interview, 26 May If he were to do so, however, people in parliament would find a way to retaliate. Hide Footnote Further strikes against Hashd installations would also put the militias in a position to act as defenders of Iraqi sovereignty against foreign attacks.
They reaffirmed that the prime minister is responsible for issuing statements on security incidents and called on all security agencies, including the Hashd, to respect his prerogative. On 26 August, the prime minister, president and speaker of parliament, together with Faleh al-Fayyadh, received Hashd representatives to praise their role in fighting ISIS and to reaffirm the importance of a unified national position to protect Iraq from violations of its sovereignty.
A more likely and no less dangerous scenario is that an Iran confronted with debilitating economic pressures — which would grow stronger should the U. Iran may calculate that it would be better to risk a confrontation with the U. And if Iran were to hit back at the U. Even a legislatively forced U. Continued cooperation between the Iraqi military and U. Iraqi government control over these areas has been tenuous for decades, including under the previous regime; traditional security forces cannot easily patrol there.
An Iraqi security official said U. Crisis Group interview, Kirkuk, March Crisis Group interview, Baghdad, February Even absent a direct U. In June , protests started up again in Basra and other southern provinces as temperatures rose. Government formation was completed six days later. While the government can still count on the two largest political blocs, it would fall if the Sadrists 54 seats were to join the opposition.
This would be a disaster. The Sadrists, in a position to claim ownership of the Iraqi national struggle against foreign interference, would support such legislative action. Many Shiite politicians seem to have a hard time understanding that Iraq can be stable only in a situation of a balanced Iran-U. The cost of renewed conflict in Iraq would be enormous, not least in light of the significant investments both Iran and the U.
To avoid this outcome, Washington will need to address the growing contradictions between its various policy objectives: countering Iran at virtually any cost; securing its post gains in Iraq through a continued military presence; and preventing an ISIS resurgence. Any escalation by Washington — more belligerent anti-Iranian rhetoric or intensified pressure on the Iraqi government to comply with sanctions on Iran, let alone U. The Trump administration likewise will need to narrow the gap between what it demands of Baghdad and what Baghdad can effectively deliver.
They are harming U. A more effective U. Iran, too, ought to see merit in avoiding actions that destabilise its neighbour. A stable Iraq will be in a better position to help Tehran absorb the impact of U. It is unclear how far the Trump administration will go in pressing Iraq to cut those economic ties, but Iran has every reason not to force the issue.
Directly or indirectly targeting the U. Accordingly, Iran should clearly communicate to its Iraqi allies that they ought to refrain from provocative behaviour.
Iran also should have an interest in the success of the counter-ISIS campaign, including through the ongoing U. In the absence of a credible replacement for the technical capabilities the U. The government faces difficult months, born of the potential combination of street protests, parliamentary disputes and regional confrontation.
It should tell parliament and the public that Iraq cannot bear the political or economic costs of being embroiled in U.
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The Iraqi government also should clearly spell out to the Trump administration and the U. But there are only a limited number of things he can do. It is in our interest as well to sign contracts that increase oil production and diversify our energy sources. Crisis Group interview, Washington, 25 July Hide Footnote These steps could include strengthening economic and political ties to Arab neighbours and signing energy as well as trade deals with non-Iranian companies.
The Iraqi government also would be well advised to enlist the support of other members of the anti-ISIS coalition, highlighting the risks of an unstable Iraq. Hide Footnote For outside actors, de-escalating the U. Thus far, the Iraqi government has proven successful in distancing itself from the looming confrontation between its two powerful backers, the U. But its efforts may fall short if Washington and Tehran remain on their current collision course.
Doing so would jeopardise U. And neither the U.
Al-Maliki slammed over Turkey, Iraq row
Andes Central America. Iran Briefing Note Seven Opportunities for the UN in Originally published in Valdai. Up Next. A Shiite Muslim cleric recites a prayer as members of Iraq's Hashed al-Shaabi Popular Mobilisation units paramilitary force surround the coffin of their comrade Kazem Mohsen during his funeral procession. Overview The rockets that fell close to U.
From Escalation to Indirect Confrontation U. Hide Footnote For reasons of geography and history, Iraq finds itself squarely in the path of the gathering storm.source site
Iraq-Turkey relations are moving in a positive direction
Facebook Email. The protests remained notably peaceful, and clerics rebuffed calls from al-Qaeda in Iraq for Sunnis to take up arms against the Maliki government. Mutlaq said the meeting was productive, unlike previous ones, and that they reached an agreement to follow up on detainee cases and transfer those held by the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior to facilities run by the Ministry of Justice. Sadr last pulled his ministers in January , after Maliki refused to set a timetable for the US withdrawal.
It is not clear how serious Sadr is in threatening a similar boycott. The move may be an effort to exert leverage over Maliki, and Sadr may not follow through on his rhetoric. Nevertheless, the Sadrists are not cooperating with Maliki right now. On Saturday, Maliki called for dialogue to resolve the political crisis in a news conference with Ammar al-Hakim, the head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. From the end of , when the Bashiqa crisis occurred, tensions between the two countries increased.
Turkey Cozies Up to the KRG
Baghdad accused Ankara of intervening in Iraq's domestic issues, while Ankara blamed the Baghdad government on discriminating against the country's Sunni population. The statements of Erdogan and Salih in the press conference have made it clear that the positive trend in the relations between two strategic neighbours would significantly bring benefits to both countries. But how long the positive trend will last, still remains as a question.
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What would you like to learn more about? The Middle East pays more for weapons and China floods their markets. Turkey and Iraq mull military cooperation, trust agreement. With Iraqi President Barham Salih's visit to Ankara, improving relations are likely to lead to Turkey making bigger investments in the war-affected country.