Iraq will not allow the US to use its military bases to launch an attack on Iran, the country’s president stressed, thrashing Donald Trump’s warmongering policies towards the Islamic Republic.
“We do not want our territory to be a staging post for any hostile action against any of our neighbors, including Iran,” Iraq’s President Barham Salih told CNN, noting that there is no agreement between Baghdad and Washington that could make Donald Trump think he can use it as such.
Read more: I do not need congressional approval to hit Iran: Trump
In February, the US President said that around 5,000 soldiers should remain in Iraq to keep a close “watch” on Iran. While at the time Trump said he would not use Iraq as a springboard to attack Iran, the growing US vendetta against the Islamic Republic could see all American assets in the region drawn into the confrontation, should large-scale conflict erupt.
The US was poised to launch retaliatory strikes against Tehran last week after the country shot down an RQ-4 Global Hawk spy drone over its territorial waters. President Trump said Friday that he canceled the attack after being told that as many as 150 people could die.
Iraq is in a near unique position: Allied with the US, host to American military bases, and yet with close ties to neighboring Iran.
Read more: US’ destabilizing role preventing Iran & Iraq “No-War Pact”
However, on Tuesday, Trump threatened the Islamic Republic with a total “obliteration” in cas of an attack on “anything American.” At the same time, the US president admitted that he has no exit strategy should he choose to go to war.
You’re not going to need an exit strategy. I don’t do exit strategies: Trump
In the meantime, Salih recalled the bitter experience of the American attack of his country, reminding Washington that it is quick to start a war without thinking of potential consequences. He also questioned whether the strategy of using sanctions to change a state’s policy would actually work.
It’s easy to start a war, but very, very difficult to end a war: Salih
RT with additional input from GVS News desk