Biden Admin Pleads With Iraq To Protect US Troops In Region From Attacks

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Jake Smith Contributor
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The Biden administration is urging the Iraqi government to protect American troops stationed in Iraq against attacks from Iranian-backed militias, according to multiple reports.

There have been 38 confirmed attacks against U.S. targets in Syria and Iraq since the Hamas Oct. 7 terrorist attacks against Israel, raising concerns of a broader regional conflict in the Middle East. The Biden administration believes the Iraqi government has the capacity to protect these U.S. forces within the region and hopes the country will do so, the State Department told Rudaw Media Network Bureau Chief Duyar Kurda. (RELATED: Pentagon Claims Deterrence Is Working In Middle East Despite Recent String Of Attacks, Protests)

‘We believe that the Iraqi government does have the ability to hold those groups accountable, and we believe that that work is ongoing,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told Kurda.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani on Sunday to express the Biden administration’s concerns about increased attacks against U.S. troops in the region. Blinken told reporters that he felt the conversation was “productive,” and that al-Sudani said he was working with Iraqi security forces to prevent further attacks from Iranian-backed militia groups.

Shia al-Sudani then traveled to Iran on Monday and met with Iranian leadership to praise the “heroic” success of Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attacks against the “Zionist regime” of Israel. They also warned that a broader regional conflict could only be avoided if Israel immediately halted its counteroffensive in the Gaza Strip.

The Biden administration is more broadly increasing its military presence in the Middle East to deter further attacks from Iran-backed militias. A nuclear-powered Ohio-class submarine arrived in the Suez Canal near Cairo on Sunday, and the U.S.S. Dwight. D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier arrived in the Middle East on Saturday, joining U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford for exercises in the eastern Mediterranean.

There are approximately 2,500 troops stationed throughout Iraq at military installations, including the Ain al-Asad air base in the west and the Bashur air base in the north, both of which have come under attack in recent weeks. The U.S. had over 100,000 troops in the region during the 2003 invasion of Iraq that toppled the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein which led to a more democratically inclined governing system, according to PBS.

The State Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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