Tags: US troops | Iraq | Iranian forces | nuke deal | David Petraeus

Politico: US Troops in Iraq at Risk of Attack by Iranian Forces

By    |   Wednesday, 25 March 2015 10:26 AM

U.S. troops in Iraq to help battle against the growth of the Islamic State (ISIS) there may be increasingly vulnerable to attack by Iranian forces, Politico reported.

As a Tuesday deadline looms on a nuclear deal between the U.S. and Iran, officials are concerned that American soldiers might find themselves caught in the backlash from Iranian "hardliners" there, Politico added.

Fears also mount over a possible U.S.-aided ouster of Syria's president, Bashar Assad, who is deeply allied with Iran. Noted Politico: "White House officials who oppose greater involvement in Syria's civil war often cite concern for the safety of Americans in Iraq as a reason for caution."

Former NATO head and Gen. David Petraeus, who led troops in Iraq during a surge period there from 2007-2008, has also warned of future dangers in Iran, calling it Iraq's biggest threat — not ISIS, the Middle East Monitor noted.

"I think Iraq and the coalition forces are making considerable progress against the Islamic State. In fact, I would argue that the foremost threat to Iraq's long-term stability and the broader regional equilibrium is not the Islamic State; rather, it is Shiite militias, many backed by — and some guided by — Iran," Petraeus said last week while attending the Sulaimani Forum at the University of Iraq-Sulaimani, The Washington Post reported.

He added: "Longer term, Iranian-backed Shia militia could emerge as the preeminent power in the country, one that is outside the control of the government and instead answerable to Tehran."

Knowing U.S. troops inside Iraq could increasingly be in harm's way and amid fears of ISIS' spread has led Americans to soften their approval for a troops-on-the-ground strategy there, Rasmussen Reports noted in February.

"It is safe to say that Americans are more supportive of sending U.S. forces into Iraq than they were a year ago," said the polling firm's managing editor, Fran Coombs, in an interview with the Military Times.

In a February survey, 52 percent of Americans said they'd approve of U.S. combat forces sent back to Iraq "as part of an international coalition to fight ISIS," the Military Times noted. The figure marked a 4 percent increase from a similar poll taken in October.

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U.S. troops in Iraq to help battle against the growth of the Islamic State terrorist group there may be increasingly vulnerable to attack by Iranian forces, Politico reported.
US troops, Iraq, Iranian forces, nuke deal, David Petraeus
366
2015-26-25
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 10:26 AM
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