IZMIR — the Iraqi society is against the establishment of US military bases in the country, the Vice-President of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, said on Friday.
According to the Iraqi Vice-President, who spoke to RIA Novosti, the Iraqi government and people are against the establishment of any foreign bases on the territory of Iraq, including US military bases. Maliki explained that it is not in the best interest of the US to return to Iraq and create new military bases again, especially in times like these, Sputnik reported.
According to Nikolai Sukhov, researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Eastern Studies, and Vice-President of the International Middle Eastern Studies Club, such statements are a reflection of prevailing anti-US sentiments in Iraq, which have remained since the US acts of aggression, which overthrew Saddam Hussein and led to the invasion of the country back in 2003.
Sukhov further explained that different groups in the Iraqi society may relate to the regime of Saddam Hussein in different ways, but the majority of the population still holds anti-US sentiments, which could be seen even after the US-led coalition support against the Islamic State (IS).
Earlier on Friday, VP Maliki responded to the recent US attempts to claim credit for the liberation of Mosul from IS, by emphasising the leading role of the Iraqi forces and the pro-government Hashd al-Shaabi. He rejected all claims that the victory over IS has been achieved due to the US leadership, and pointed out that the US-led coalition supported the fight against IS with their aviation, but the main credit belongs to the joint Iraqi forces and people of Iraq.
The operation against the IS militants in Mosul began in October last year, when the Iraqi government, backed by the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the US-led coalition, launched a massive offensive against the extremist group in the eastern parts of the city. Earlier this month, the Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi declared the complete liberation of Mosul, after nearly nine months of fighting the IS insurgents.