Several U.S. allies are at least temporarily moving troops out of Iraq

January 7, 2020

The United States is far from the only foreign nation that will ultimately have a decision to make about its military forces stationed in Iraq. Several other countries with troops in the country are weighing their options in the wake of President Trump’s decision to kill Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike in Iraq last week, ratcheting up tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Canada, for one, is temporarily packing things and will wait nearby while things either boil over or cool down. In a letter, Gen. Jonathan Vance, chief of Canada’s Defence Staff, said troops will — for now — move from Iraq to Kuwait “to ensure their safety and security.”

The United Kingdom, meanwhile, apparently wants to remain in Iraq, but will respect Baghdad’s sovereignty if asked to leave. They’ve sent a team to help prepare for a possible evacuation. Other European countries have already begun to withdraw at least a small number of forces.

As for the U.S.’s closest ally in the Middle East? Israel is reportedly staying out of it for now, but some Israeli military experts worry that a possible American withdrawal from Iraq could eventually lead to a war along Israel’s northern border.

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Tim O’Donnell
Published at https://theweek.com/speedreads/888003/several-allies-are-least-temporarily-moving-troops-iraq