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    US. army soldiers stand next a military vehicle in the town of Bartella, east of Mosul, Iraq, December 27, 2016

    Preparing for War? US Sends Military Convoy From Jordan to Western Iraq – Report

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    The US military has increased its military presence in Iraq to 10,000 soldiers and supplied them with state of the art equipment, according to sources in Iraq cited by Fars News.

    The US military has dispatched a convoy of military vehicles and troops from Jordan to western Iraq, according to Iran's Fars News Agency.

    "A big military convoy of 70 military vehicles entered Ayn al-Assad air base," a source in Iraqi security forces told the agency.

    According to the publication, the convoy was escorted by US fighter jets. The source also said that the US military ramped up security measures at all their positions in Al-Anbar province to an "unprecedented level," according to Fars.

    Ayn al-Assad air base is located in western Iraq, some 150 kilometres from the Syrian border and about 270 kilometres away from Iran.

    According to Al-Masdar News, the US military has dispatched an undisclosed number of troops and an undisclosed amount of weapons to Iraq. The weapons are being transferred via security firms in Jordan, the publication says.

    Earlier in April, Iraqi media reported that the US military had increased its military presence in the Ayn al-Assad and al-Habaniyeh bases to 10,000 soldiers, adding that the troops are supplied with state-of-the-art equipment, according to Fars.

    According to Iraqi Badr Organization's head in al-Anbar, the two bases house US Marines, who have recently been relocated from Syria to Iraq. The source also said that 90% of US soldiers stationed in Iraq are actual combat forces and "are not considered military advisors," according to Al-Masdar.

    The Fars report comes just a week after the US sent the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, under the pretext of protection of its forces against the alleged Iranian threat.

    As bilateral tensions between the US and Iran rise, Iraq, which is a de facto ally to both Washington and Tehran, is caught between a rock and a hard place, according to the Military Times. Earlier in May, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Iraq with a message which the Times interprets as "if you're not going to stand with us, stand aside."

    Iraq currently houses both US troops and Iranian-backed militias, a Military Times report says.

    "If the [Iraqi] state cannot keep these Iranian-backed militias under control, Iraq will become an arena for an Iranian-American armed conflict," Iraqi political analyst Watheq al-Hashimi told the website on Monday.

    US President Trump has consecutively ramped up rhetoric against Tehran, even promising the "official end of Iran" in case of armed conflict. At the same time, the US President says he does not want war, because it's bad for the economy.

    "I am not somebody who wants to go into war because war kills the economy, kills people most importantly," Trump said in an interview on Sunday.

    During his 2016 Presidential campaign, Trump made US withdrawal from the Middle East one of the pillars of his presidential program. Earlier last year, he suddenly ordered a complete withdrawal from Syria (which has yet to be completed) and reportedly is seeking a way to withdraw from Afghanistan.


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