US President Donald Trump has not ruled out that forces linked to Iran may try to attack US assets in Iraq.
“According to some information and opinions, Iran or its proxies are planning a covert attack on US troops and/or facilities in Iraq. If this happens, Iran will pay a high price,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
On March 29, the international coalition announced that it was leaving the K-1 air base near the Iraqi city of Kirkuk as part of the redeployment of forces and leaving it to the Iraqi military, and on Thursday, the coalition handed over to the Iraqi military command of the Qayara airbase in the province of Ninawa in Northern Iraq, where the US military was stationed. Earlier in March, the coalition fully handed over the US-used al-Qaim military base on the border with Syria to the Iraqi armed forces.
Representatives of the coalition said that as part of decisions on cooperation with partners and the government of Iraq, military personnel and equipment from several Iraqi bases will be relocated and consolidated during 2020. The number of locations where coalition forces will be deployed in Iraq will decrease. However, the coalition remains in the country at the invitation of the government of Iraq and will continue to advise and train local security forces.
Besides, the United States planned to deploy Patriot air defense systems in Iraq after Iran, in response to the murder of IRGC General Qasem Suleimani, launched missile strikes on Iraqi bases where American soldiers are stationed.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi earlier said that Tehran considers the current movements and activity of the US military in Iraq dangerous.