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Nov 19, 2020
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Iraqi Militia Leader Qais Khazali: I Oppose The Shelling Of The U.S. Embassy; Turkey Poses More Of A Threat To Iraq Than The U.S.; Biden Presidency Will Bring About Decrease In U.S. Presence In Iraq

#8471 | 02:17
Source: Al-Ahd TV (Iraq)

Qais Khazali, the Secretary-General of the Asa'ib Ahl Al-Haq Iraqi Shiite militia, said in a November 19, 2020 interview on Ahd TV (Iraq) that he currently opposes the shelling of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad because it has a diplomatic capacity. He elaborated that the presence in Iraq of foreign non-combatants such as (Iranian) technical experts is acceptable, but that the presence of armed foreign combatants is a legitimate cause for "resistance." In addition, Khazali said that a Biden presidency will bring about a decline in U.S. presence in the Middle East and that the threat of Turkish military occupation of Iraq is more severe than that of American occupation. He predicted that Turkey would claim that it has a right to the territory in northern Iraq.

Qais Khazali: "Foreign military presence in the form of technical experts, in keeping with requirements that are defined by the security commanders, does not constitute occupation. This is acceptable, reasonable, and has its reasons. However, the presence of combatant soldiers in a military base with their weapons, their tanks, their airplanes, and so on constitutes the kind of foreign presence that is rejected by the Iraqi constitution, and that is not authorized by the Iraqi parliament. Such [foreign presence] is unacceptable and legitimizes resistance.

[...]

"There is a difference between attacks against the [U.S.] Embassy and against other places."

Interviewer: "What do you mean by other places?"

Khazali: "Whether logistical support forces, American military bases... Personally, I do not support the shelling of the U.S. Embassy, because it has a diplomatic capacity. Well, at least at the moment.

[...]

"I believe that the impending Turkish military threat will be more severe and more dangerous than the threat posed by the U.S. military presence. The American military presence will certainly decline with the arrival of Biden. We know that they are saying: 'The Middle East is not a priority of ours.' The shale oil they extract in the U.S. exceeds the production of Saudi Arabia. They say: 'Our priorities are the China Sea, China, and Russia.' Since the days of Obama, the analysts have known that their decision has been to stay away from the Middle East and go to [China and Russia].

[...]

"[Turkey's] Ottomanic and Erdoganian tone will increase. They will say that Turkey has a right to northern Iraq and that the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne is worthless. They will say that this treaty has expired after 100 years, and that they therefore [have a right] to Kirkuk and Mosul."

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