Iraq: possible withdrawal of American troops worries Europeans

American soldiers in Kirkuk, northern Iraq, March 29, 2020. AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP

Text by: RFI Follow

3 min

Pro-Iran militias have announced a "ceasefire", ending attacks on foreign missions, especially American ones, on one condition: that the Iraqi government quickly establish a timetable for the total withdrawal of American troops in the country.

For more than a year, some fifty attacks have targeted American interests in the country, threatening to tip the region into a diplomatic, if not military, crisis.

And more recently, other foreign missions have also been targeted, such as a British diplomatic convoy.

The British ambassador in Baghdad commented on the security situation in the country during an interview with RFI.


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With our correspondent in Baghdad


Lucie Wassermann

Stephen Hickey has been serving as British Ambassador to Baghdad for a year.

A year in which pro-Iran militias regularly targeted American interests, and more recently other foreign missions.

Today, the stability of the region is largely due

to the cessation of these attacks, he

explains, sitting in the courtyard of the UK embassy.


The key to preventing a military escalation here is to stop these rocket attacks, and those with improvised explosive devices.

All of us in the international community are working to restore calm. 


Faced with these attacks, Washington threatened Baghdad to close its embassy, ​​and to recall its military contingent.

A worrying situation for European countries according to him.


The United States is the biggest player in the coalition.

They provide great support to Iraq, but they also provide significant logistical support to other members of the coalition, many of whom are European countries.

I think each of us, whether it's the UK, France or Germany, is going to have to think about the implications if the US military leaves.


Faced with this situation, the British ambassador calls for full support from the Iraqi government.


I think we are at a really pivotal time for Iraq and the government needs to take further action.

I am sure it will, but the international community and neighboring countries must give it their full support



An Iraqi government today under pressure, at a time when the militias are calling on it to publish a timetable for the total and final withdrawal

of American troops from Iraq



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  • Iraq

  • United States

  • UK

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