NATO troops are now in Iraq, and they are staying to help Turkey and to increase tensions with Russia

By Walid Shoebat

NATO troops are in Iraq and are there to stay. As we read in a report from Al Jazeera :

NATO forces are staying in Iraq at the country’s request, alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg said during a rare visit on Monday to Baghdad, after parliament called for a foreign troop pullout.

“We are here because Iraq wants us to be here. We are not here without the consent and without an invitation from Iraq,” Stoltenberg told AFP news agency on Monday.

“We should not stay longer than necessary, we will train the trainers as long as necessary to make sure IS [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] does not reemerge.”

Stoltenberg’s comments come days after the Iraqi parliament called for the government to draw up a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country.

“The Iraqi parliament expresses its gratitude to all countries which have supported Iraq in its fight against Daesh [ISIL] and calls for the government to draw up a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops,” it said in a statement.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared in December the end of the war to expel ISIL fighters from the country, three years after they seized one-third of Iraq, sweeping aside security forces in rapid succession.

Stoltenberg visited a NATO training facility in Iraq and met Abadi weeks after NATO defence ministers agreed on a bigger “train-and-advise” mission in the country.

“All 29 allies want NATO to play a bigger role in fighting terrorism because terrorism affects all of us. It’s been a clear message from the Trump administration, but also from the other allies,” Stoltenberg said.

“This is about helping Iraq, but also about helping ourselves.”

How is NATO “helping” itself? Is it really to help the Iraqi people that NATO troops are in Iraq? Lets not forget that Turkey is the second most armed country in NATO, and when they say that NATO are sticking around in Iraq, that means more political leverage in Turkey, who is in northern Syria right now. The Turks argue that they are in Syria to supposedly fight Kurdish terrorists. But is that really the ultimate reason? Remember what Erdogan said back in 2016:

“Why did we enter? We do not have an eye on Syrian soil. The issue is to provide lands to their real owners. That is to say we are there for the establishment of justice. We entered there to end the rule of the tyrant al-Assad who terrorizes with state terror. [We didn’t enter] for any other reason”

Turkey is there for its own interest of expansionism, and NATO is allowing it for its own interest against Russia. Jens Stolenberg was just in Iraq where he declared:

“This pattern which we have seen over some years is part of why NATO now is adapting and implementing the strongest reinforcement to our collective defense since the Cold War … We’re not mirroring what Russia does – missile for missile, weapon for weapon – but we are responding because we see a more assertive Russia.”

As we have said before, the Cold War never ended, and this Cold War mentality is only creating the frankenstein of a revived Ottoman Empire.

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