Iraqi Forces’ Violence Undermines US’ Strategic Interests in Middle East

Iraqi forces

Iraqi forces that have fought innumerable wars in the past, do not have a particularly successful history. The forces consistently suffered due to poor tactical performance during most of the wars.

As a matter of fact, Iraq has stunningly accepted the ISIS invasion and how the presence of terrorist groups led to its military collapse. The corruption lurking within the Iraqi society followed by the lack of artillery and air power have further weakened the forces’ ability of providing security to the citizens by eliminating terror throughout Iraq.

The recent bloodbath in Nasiriyah, Iraq, where nearly 45 people were shot dead by the Iraqi security forces after the protesters torched the Iranian consulate in the southern city of Najaf, was highly criticized by the US.

In the same context the US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, David Schenker stated, “The use of excessive force over the weekend in Nassiriya was shocking and abhorrent”.  

Schenker even called for the Iraqi government to investigate and punish those responsible for the “excessive” use of force.

The statements from the police and medical sources mentioned that the Iraqi forces opened fire on demonstrators who had blocked a bridge and later gathered outside a police station in the southern city. Dozens of people were wounded in the process.

Iraq protests were an extension to the ones going on since 2015 against the deteriorating economic conditions and corruptions in many Iraqi cities.

Besides that, the protestors accused Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and his government of squandering Iraq’s oil wealth and for worsening the living standards of people.

In the wake of the protests and continued allegations, Iraqi prime minister announced his resignation, which was approved by the Iraqi parliament on December 1. Since the Iraqi parliament has not approved a full time replacement for Abdul Mahdi, he would continue in a caretaker role.

Though Iraq is considered a terrorist hub with the presence of IS agents in the region, it is still in a military alliance with Iran, Syria and Russia to fight terrorism. The terror of IS looms over the US as well because of its recent victory over the Iraqi born leader Baghdadi.

Amid all, the US is trying to play safe in order to protect its interests and strategic partnership with Iraq and beyond. Due to its complex relations with Russia, Iran and Syria, Iraq is one important partner for the US as well as a voice of moderation and democracy in the Middle East.

But the increasing violence by Iraqi forces has caused disruption in the country, which tends to undermine the US’ broad engagement with Iraq on diplomatic, political, economic, and security issues in accordance with the US-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement.

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