U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Friday that his country planned to fulfill its promise of withdrawing 39,000 soldiers from Iraq by the end of the year; nine years after America invaded the country in 2003.
In an interview with Majid Hameed of Al Arabiya, U.S. ambassador to Iraq, James Jeffrey, spoke of the phase following the troop’s withdrawal and the impact this would have on Iraq’s political scene and its relationship with the U.S.
Jeffrey said one of the main components of U.S. support after the withdrawal was on foreign military sale contracts, worth around $8 billion, which in essence calls for American companies to deploy contractors to Iraq, and the U.S. embassy to provide the logistics and necessary steps to maintain stability in the country.
When asked about security concerns regarding remaining al-Qaeda factions in Iraq or sectarian clashes, Jeffrey said that Iraq security forces are capable of dealing with them, and have witnessed dramatic improvement in providing law and order. He added that acts of terror from such influences have been limited to occasional attacks and threats.
Jeffrey stated that foreign intervention, such as the presence of Kurdish militant groups like the PKK and PJAK, was normal, and that Iraq was able to coordinate with international agencies to continue warding off such related threats.
Since the U.S. invasion, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died while 4,400 U.S. soldiers lost their lives in the war.
James Jeffrey –U.S. Ambassador to Iraq