Baghdad resumes talks with Washington…no guarantee of peace
On Sunday, the Iraqi government continued its talks with Washington over the withdrawal of international coalition forces, after a week-long escalation that peaked following a US strike that killed a leader in the Hezbollah militia, credible sources said, to begin the round. “Without warranty.”
Iraqi military spokesman Major General Yahya Rasool announced that “the joint bilateral team between Iraq and the United States will return to work on Sunday,” and the foreign ministry said it had been in contact with its American representative. It was agreed to continue the negotiation sessions within the framework of the Supreme Military Council.
But local media quoted diplomatic sources as saying Washington had set “tough” conditions for a return to the negotiating table, adding that “the Iraqi government guarantees that US forces will not be subjected to a new attack later.”
Reliable sources told Asharq al-Awsad, “The Iraqi negotiating team is feeling great pressure as a result of not being able to offer any guarantees to either side, either the Americans or the factions.”
Al-Sutani announced “a cease-fire formula that would involve the factions ceasing attacks in exchange for an end to the US response.”
“Ending the mission of the international coalition to fight against ISIS aims to eliminate all justifications for attacks on its advisers,” he pointed out, and explained that the international coalition began at Iraqi request and “will end at Iraqi request.”
A day after this announcement, Washington launched a lightning strike against the “Kattayib Hezbollah” faction in Baghdad, killing its foreign operations officer, Abu Bakr al-Saadi.
The strike comes after an attack in Jordan on the Syrian border in late January that killed 3 US soldiers.
In response to the attack, about a week ago, Washington launched strikes in Iraq and Syria against targets loyal to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
In the same context, Hussein Allawi, one of the Prime Minister's advisors, said in a statement to Asharq Al-Awsad, “Resuming the work of the Iraq-US Bilateral Committee is an effective step by the Iraqi government in setting a timetable. An orderly withdrawal was decided by Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani on January 5. “2024 End the work of the international coalition and change Iraq's relations with the international coalition countries to bilateral relations.
“Allawi believed that ending the mission of the international coalition would be a strategic entry point for the country's transition to stability, progress and economic prosperity, instead of militarization and mobilization to fight terrorism. Lasted 10 years.”
“Iraq today has more military capabilities and the ability to improve its combat capabilities after gaining great experience in countering ISIS and the regime-imposition operations it has carried out over the past years,” Allawi stressed.
On Saturday, the Iraqi parliament held a formal session to discuss the US attacks on the positions of the Popular Mobilization Forces and armed units.
Parliament, through its (acting) Speaker Mohsen Al-Mandalavi, passed House of Representatives Resolution No. 2020 on the withdrawal of foreign forces and the end of their duties in Iraq. It called on the government to implement the 18
The Asaib Ahl al-Haq bloc, led by Qais Khazali, one of the pillars of the “integration framework”, tried to persuade delegates to attend the session, saying in a brief statement that “attendance is a legal obligation”.
Iraq in a “major conflict”
In the same context, Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussain said that Iraq could go into conflict due to retaliatory attacks on its territory by factions backed by Iran and US forces.
“Tensions between Iran and America are very high right now,” he added during a BBC interview in Baghdad. He said: “I hope both sides will stop their attacks; They will not solve their problem on Iraqi soil (…) We have paid too high a price.
In addition, a group calling itself the “Islamic Resistance in Iraq” called on other factions to join it in expelling US forces. The group said in a statement circulated on digital platforms: “The divisions gave (the Americans) a chance to leave (Iraq) as a lifeline, which they did not get before despite their mediation.”
“The (US) enemy only understands the language of weapons, and this is evident in its recent targeting of Popular Mobilization Forces in al-Qaim, Akashat and elsewhere, and escalated with the assassination of Abu Bakr al-Saadi in Baghdad.
The group sent an implicit message to the “Hezbollah legions,” urging “brothers to join the ranks of the resistance and be determined to participate effectively in expelling the occupation at this historic juncture in Iraq and the region.”
The Brigades, which announced a halt to attacks against Americans, commented on the latest Baghdad attack, saying, “America has no understanding of the honor of fighting human beings, so it has increased its tyranny and perpetuated its treachery.”
Washington classifies the Hezbollah militia as a “terrorist” organization, and has targeted the group with attacks in Iraq in recent weeks.
Since the middle of the three-month period, US forces and the international coalition in Iraq and Syria have been subject to more than 165 attacks, a direct reflection of the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip between Israel and the Hamas movement.