04:51 GMT22 January 2021
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    Iraqi political analyst and strategic expert Ahmed al-Sharifi told Sputnik that the withdrawal of American troops from Syria is a manoeuvre and that US forces will move to bases in neighbouring Iraq.

    "According to available data, [the] Americans are already expanding their base in Erbil. Part of the troops will be sent to the Ayn al-Asad Airbase, west of Anbar province between Baghdad and the Iraq-Syria border. In that way, the White House will be able to keep abreast of the developments in Syria. The legal rationale for this operation is a cooperation agreement between Baghdad and Washington. Moreover, the USA has a mandate from the UN, which it received [at] the beginning of the operation against the Daesh*", Ahmed al-Sharifi said.

    For his part, Iraqi Major-General Abdel Karim Khalaf told Sputnik that there is still no official confirmation that the US military would be relocated to Iraq.

    READ MORE: Daesh Presence in Syria is 'Manna to US' — Veteran War Journalist

    Earlier, Iraqi President Barham Salih has expressed hope in a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the withdrawal of US troops from Syria will contribute to the conflict settlement and will not result in a new escalation of violence.

    Last week, Washington announced that the United States began withdrawing its forces from Syria, US President Donald Trump said that since defeating the Daesh terror group was the key goal of the US military in the Arab State, the troops must now return home in the wake of the terrorists allegedly being defeated. However, the White House also stressed that it did not mean the end of the US-led international coalition's fight against Daesh. 

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS), al-Qaeda are terrorist groups banned in Russia.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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