There will not be American bases in north Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region after the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq by year’s end, a top Kurdish official told AFP on Tuesday.
“There is a misunderstanding by some Iraqi politicians and media on the wishes of the region regarding the withdrawal of American forces, as some say that there will be U.S. bases in the region,” said Jabbar Yawar, the top official in the Kurdish ministry responsible for regional peshmerga security forces.
“We confirm that the subject of the security or military agreement between the Iraqi government and other countries is a sovereign subject and among the powers of the central government,” Yawar said.
“There is not any legal right for the Kurdistan region of Iraq to conclude these agreements, and the presidency of the regional government is committed to the Iraqi constitution,” he said.
He added that the leaders of the Kurdistan region are committed to “what was decided by the Iraqi government in not renewing the security agreement with the U.S. government.”
Anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said on Monday that he did not trust the US to follow through on withdrawing its forces from Iraq, claiming that American forces are building military bases in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
U.S. President Barack Obama announced on October 21 that all U.S. troops would depart Iraq by the end of the year, after the failure of negotiations between Baghdad and Washington on a post-2011 US military training mission here.