Alwaght- Following repeated threats and even rocket attacks by resistant groups in Iraq against the “occupying” American forces in Iraq which came after an Iraqi parliament bill calling for the expulsion of the American troops operating in the country, on Wednesday in an important development rocket attacks on a military base, Camp Taji, hosting the US-led coalition forces killed a British soldier and two American servicemen and wounded at least 12 others. Camp Taji, located in a district with the same name, is 30 kilometers north of the capital Baghdad. Execution of the attack in the present period and the US reaction carry messages and consequences that mark the start of an Iraqi military storm to expel the US forces from the country.
End of occupation beyond the political games
Shortly after a volley of rockets struck the coalition base, Iraq’s Kataib Hizbollah, which is a staunch opponent of the American military presence in Iraq, in a statement said that the current time for the attacks was appropriate and that now is the right time to renew the push to expel the American “villains” from the country. The statement read that the American dismiss of the Iraqi will to expel the “American occupiers” will not go without costs for the US.
“Those who believe that now it is time for the American occupiers to leave the country should express their ideas brazenly to save their record and history,” part of the statement said.
Following the cowardly assassination of Iran’s top General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, on January 3, and his peer Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), or Hashd al-Shaabi in Arabic, the Americans sought to calm the situation. They negotiated with Iraqi figures close to them, pressed to perpetuate the political crisis, and fueled sectarian divisions to counter the strong waves of anti-American sentiments among the Iraqis and also render ineffective the parliamentary bill seeking to force out of the country the American troops.
The American assessment was that in the present conditions, the Iraqi society and political community, inflicted by a variety of crises, will remove from the center of their attention the demand for the US forces to exit. This, the Americans thought, will allow for the Iraqi figures and forces supporting the US military stay, to rise and play a role and even in the next parliament withdraw the bill.
However, the Wednesday attacks indicated that all of the US plans to dissuade the Iraqis from their insistence on the American exit have met their failure and the Iraqi people, despite the problems they are grappling with, still view US expulsion as a military and political priority as urgent as the fight to end the ISIS terrorist group in their country. The Americans now figure out that home political disputes cannot shatter the unity, which took shape after the assassination of the anti-terror commanders, surrounding the need to end the American occupation and destabilizing actions in Iraq.
The US facing legitimacy and security crisis in Iraq
The occasional attacks targeting the American bases and troops as well as diplomatic sites and the way of reacting to it are increasingly becoming a big and seemingly unresolvable challenge to the White House. So far, political and military reactions by Washington only made things worse. The assassination of the two charismatic and influential Iranian and Iraqi military commanders in retaliation to the attacks on the US embassy in Baghdad and the killing of a soldier in rocket attacks only delivered the reverse as the Iraqi parliament in response approved the foreign forces expulsion and the resistant group declared war on the American occupiers. The developments crippled the US military presence legitimacy and security in Iraq.
While the attacks on the American base drew support from the Iraqi public, the retaliatory attacks by Washington targeting an under-construction civilian airport in the holy city of Karbala that killed Iraq police forces, a civilian worker, and PMF fighters solidified the anti-American sentiments of the Iraqis who are averse to the American disrespect to their independent and national sovereignty.
Trump and the hard revenge domino
The attacks on Camp Taji against the coalition forces show that Trump should continue to deal with domino actions of the promised hard revenge after the Baghdad airport attack, until the US withdrawal from the whole region. In retaliation to the January attack, Iran launched missile strikes on the American Ein Al-Assad military base and another American base in Erbil, not only destroying the legend of the US invincibility but also destroying the main command centers of the basses, though the Americans still reject to admit the massive casualties.
By covering the real number of the casualties of the Iranian missile attack and being dismissive of the Iraqi call for the US forces to leave the country, Trump struggled to prevent negative impacts of his assassination order on his election position. However, the Wednesday attack once again restored the nightmare of the hard revenge promised by Iran following the assassination of Quds Force’s commander. Now he has to choose to abandon the insistence on military stay in Iraq or withstand the humiliation directed against him by his election rivals as he sustains defeats from Iran or respond to home questions condemning his policy loss in Iraq as more American troops will be killed in the Arab country.