Whilst the international coalition fighting ISIS yesterday announced the arrival of troops belonging to the American 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Iraq, Iraqi leadership has denied any joint operations.
An international coalition statement announced that the “26th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s troops have arrived in Iraq” and that “the scope of work for this group of infantry soldiers and marines that is currently in Iraq is to defeat ISIS”.
However, the leadership of Iraqi joint operations denied the deployment of US combat forces in Iraq and stressed that “the presence of international coalition forces lessens the amount of training, air support and equipment that can be provided to Iraqi forces to fight ISIS”.
Meanwhile, one of the most prominent armed Shiite factions backed by Iran, Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haq, threatened that it will treat US forces as “occupiers” and called for their withdrawal. The organisation said in a statement that “this suspicious attempt to re-establish its presence in the country on the pretext of fighting ISIS, an organisation that the US created, coincides with the anniversary of the ill-fated American invasion of Iraq that ended with a crushing defeat of the occupying forces by the courageous men of the Islamic resistance”.
The organisation demanded that the parliament and its special committees “perform its function and find out the number, type and mission of these forces”. It also called on the presidency to preserve the sovereignty of the country from constitutional and security breaches”.