Trump Touts “Making Very Big Oil Deals” As Condition For Rapid Troop Exit From Iraq

Friday, August 21, 2020
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Fri, 08/21/2020

President Trump has again vowed that all US troops will soon be out of America’s second longest occupation in Iraq (behind the longest running war in Afghanistan).

But curiously, like in neighboring Syria, he tied concluding the US mission there directly to the possibility of oil and resource benefits for American companies:

“We look forward to the day when we don’t have to be there,” Trump said during an Oval Office meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

“We were there and now we’re getting out. We’ll be leaving shortly and the relationship is very good. We’re making very big oil deals. Our oil companies are making massive deals. … We’re going to be leaving and hopefully we’re going to be leaving a country that can defend itself.”

Over the past months the president has been on record as desiring a troop withdraw as soon as possible, following tensions in January which nearly took the Pentagon to war against Iran-backed Shia militias in the country, in the wake of the US assassination of IRGC Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani.

But the persistent key question remains as to the future presence of the some 5,000 US troops still in the country is the timetable.
When pressed by reporters on the issue, Trump turned to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who replied: “As soon as we can complete the mission. The president has made very clear he wants to get our forces down to the lowest level as quickly as we possibly can. That’s the mission he’s given us and we’re working with the Iraqis to achieve that.”

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