Saturday, August 16, 2014

Who Benefits? ‘US raises ISIL specter to stay in Iraq’ - Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

Press TV | Aug 15, 2014

The United States has raised the specter of ISIL in order to stay in Iraq and the Middle East region for a long time, a political commentator says.

Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, who is an independent researcher, public speaker and writer with a focus on US foreign policy, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Monday.


Ulrich said that “America had long-standing plans to be permanently present in Iraq, and in the Persian Gulf region as a whole. Domination of the Persian Gulf is the lynchpin of US strategy…the presence of ISIL helps them in this goal.”

After Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki forced American forces out of Iraq by refusing to sign a Status of Forces Agreement allowing the forces to stay on permanently, US found its way back again, she added.

The government of Maliki refused to grant immunity to thousands of US troops, who were to remain in Iraq beyond 2011 under the pretext of training local forces.

The government had agreed to allow some of the US forces to stay longer for “training” purposes, but refused to shield them from prosecution. As a result, that residual force was never deployed.

According to a 2008 bilateral security accord, known as the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), all the US troops left the country by December 2011.

Ulrich said, “It’s very interesting that ISIL has captured towns and regions that have been vital for the US policy in the region -- one is the oil-rich [region], America’s training and funding of Kurds, and Israel in fact started training of the Kurds in 2005 and the thinking that oil from Iraq would go to Israel, and it’s happening.”

“And the other more important aspect…, according to my perspective, is the water factor, and ISIL managed to capture the dams,” she noted.

Ulrich said that the much publicized threat of ISIL terrorists returning to Europe and America is an excuse to curb criticism, to portray ISIL as a threat and justify troop deployment - again.

“I don’t believe for a moment that America has given up the idea of having Iraq and Syria and Iran under its full control,” the independent researcher and writer empathized.

On Thursday, US President Barack Obama authorized the use of force against ISIL, which is operating in Iraq and Syria, and promised on Saturday to continue the operations for as long as “necessary” to prevent the advance of ISIL in northern Iraq where American diplomats are stationed.

Obama said that airstrikes could go on for months to protect both US personnel and the Yazidi religious minority who are trapped by the militants on the mountain in northern Iraq.

Obama’s airstrikes on ISIL positions in northern Iraq could provoke the terrorist group to strike back against the US homeland, experts and officials warn.

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