BAGHDAD, (BM) – Iraqi authorities have called on the United States to postpone the deployment of Patriot missile defense systems at US bases in the Arab country, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing EurAsia Daily.
The text of a letter from Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi dated February 2 to the US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper was leaked to the social network, Anadolu reports today, April 1.
Noting the importance of developing relations between Iraq and the United States, the head of government touched on the Pentagon’s plans to deploy the Patriots at Ain al-Assad bases in western Iraq and Harir in the northern part of the country.
“The Iraqi authorities know that the Patriot system that the US wants to place in the country is defensive. However, this step will affect the situation in the region as a whole. If Patriot systems are transferred to Iraq as part of some offensive plans, then Iran and Shiite groups will also deploy air defense systems. Tensions and contradictions in the region will intensify, and as a result, the situation may get out of control,” wrote the Iraqi prime minister.
As BulgarianMilitary.com reported, the United States deployed the first Patriot missile defense system in Iraq. One of the locations for Patriot batteries was the Ain al-Assad base, which was attacked by Iran earlier this year. Another battery arrived at Harir base in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, and two Patriot batteries are in Kuwait awaiting their transfer to Iraq.
The United States is in the process of deploying systems to Iraq to “protect US forces in the event of a potential Iranian attack.” The head of the Central Command of the US Armed Forces (CENTCOM), General Kenneth Mackenzie, said this March 10 during a hearing in the Committee on Armed Forces of the House of Representatives of the US Congress.
“We are in the process of delivering air defense systems, in particular, missile defense systems to Iraq, to protect ourselves from another potential Iranian attack,” the general of the American congressmen informed.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry today, April 1, issued a statement stating that the actions of the United States in Iraq lead to “catastrophic consequences” for the Americans themselves in the Middle East. At the same time, the Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic demanded that the United States respect the will of the people and government of Iraq and withdraw its troops from this country.
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