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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Seeking Fresh Start With Iraq, Biden Avoids Setting Red Lines With Iran

Officials blame the Erbil rockets on Iranian-backed militias, equivalent to Kataib Hezbollah and Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, which had been held answerable for related earlier strikes. But representatives on the White House, State Department and Pentagon have stopped in need of making any particular accusations.

“What an important test for the new administration,” Simone Ledeen, the Pentagon’s high Middle Policy official till final month, said on Twitter on Monday. “Will be interested to see if there is a response.”

Iraqis have lengthy been suspicious of American officers who, after ordering a army invasion in 2003 and deposing Saddam Hussein, are nonetheless blamed for the safety vacuum that adopted after U.S. occupation authorities disbanded the Iraqi Army. Anger towards the United States flared once more final month, when the Trump administration pardoned 4 American safety contractors for his or her roles in a 2007 bloodbath of 17 Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square in Baghdad.

As vice chairman throughout the Obama administration, Mr. Biden was amongst those that oversaw the top of the American-led warfare in Iraq and the withdrawal of the final 50,000 fight troops in 2011, solely to be shocked by the rise of the Islamic State two years later.

Officials stated Mr. Biden had a deeply personal curiosity in Iraq, the place his son Beau served within the Army National Guard and was uncovered to poisonous burn pits which will have led to the brain most cancers that killed him in 2015.

His secretary of state, Mr. Blinken, has begun what one senior State Department official described on Friday as a evaluation of American coverage in Iraq that permits for a shift in strategy. The evaluation will embody suggestions from the Pentagon earlier than it’s offered to the White House, probably as quickly as subsequent month.

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