In Almasalah, Global

The Pentagon announces the handing over of 5 locations to Iraqi forces to protect military bases from continuing threats

The Pentagon’s Inspector General, Monday, revealed that the US-led international coalition has handed over five sites to Iraqi forces.

In a new report, the Pentagon inspector said that the international coalition forces to fight ISIS and the Al-Azm Steel Company handed over five military bases to the Iraqi forces, which include an airport in Mosul and a military strategic center near the Iraqi-Syrian border known as Al-Qaim.

The inspector attributed the reason for this measure to the increase in tensions between the United States of America and Iran, and the attack of a number of American and coalition forces positions after the American strike that led to the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian National Guard, in early January.

From March 17 to 30, the United States handed over 4 military bases to Iraqi forces, including an airport near Mosul and a strategic center near the Iraqi-Syrian border known as al-Qaim, and last April, the coalition handed over the fifth base It is air.

He pointed out that the important solid-led operations led by the United States to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria, confirmed in many news statements that the transfers were planned long ago in the basic transfers, and were the result of successful strikes against ISIS.

But in the last inspector general’s report, the coalition acknowledged that al Qaeda’s transfers, despite their long planned earlier period, had been accelerated.

The Inspector General of the Ministry of Defense confirmed that the threats required a change in focus from the operations of defeating ISIS to imposing protection on military bases.

The report pointed out that the coalition teams have suspended interactions face to face with their Iraqi partners, and ground travel to some locations has stopped due to the spread of Covid-19 disease.

He acknowledged that the new Corona virus caused the disruption of the Iraqi and Syrian partner forces, as Iraqi forces stopped training, while the Syrian Democratic Forces stopped their operations against ISIS militants due to the epidemic.

The report warned that more than 10,000 ISIS fighters could escape from the prisons of the US military allies in Syria.

He pointed out that the SDF is currently holding about two thousand foreign fighters from ISIS and about 8,000 Iraqi and Syrian fighters in 20 detention centers, and there is a risk of a mass escape.

According to the Inspector General’s report, ISIS has approximately 14,000 to 18,000 followers in Syria and Iraq. Source