In Iraq, US troops are sharing a base with Iranian-backed militias – the same Shia militias American soldiers were fighting ten years ago. This latest news on the fight against ISIS has many lawmakers and military veterans both angry as some of the Iran-backed Shiite militias at the base have killed American soldiers in the past. There is also a concern about what will happen if Iran-backed militias get out of control, attacking Americans or taking them hostage.
American critics of this growing cooperation between the U.S. military and the Iranian-backed militias call it a betrayal of the U.S. personnel who fought against the militias during the 10-year U.S. occupation of Iraq.
“It’s an insult to the families of the American soldiers that were wounded and killed in battles in which the Shia militias were the enemy,” Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain told us. “Now, providing arms to them and supporting them, it’s very hard for those families to understand.”
Senator and Iraq Veteran Furious Over News of Shared Military Base
On Monday, US Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) sent out a statement in response to hearing reports that US forces are sharing a military base with Iranian-backed militias in Iraq.
Business Insider shared some of Senator Cotton’s release which noted the tenuous history between US forces and the Iranian-backed Shiite militias in Iraq.
“When I was a soldier fighting in Iraq, Iran supplied the most advanced, most lethal roadside bombs used against coalition forces,” said Cotton, who is considered a rising star for the GOP.
“Many American soldiers lost their lives to Iran’s proxies and Iranian-supplied bombs,” he added. “Further, Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism and has been attacking the United States for decades. It’s deeply troubling that the president now finds it acceptable to share a military base with this enemy, even while we are attempting to negotiate a deal to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.”
More American Troops to Share Base with Former Enemy
According to Bloomberg News, two senior administration officials not only confirmed that U.S. soldiers and Shiite militia groups are both using the Taqqadum military base in Anbar, but this is also the same Iraqi base where President Obama is sending an additional 450 U.S. military personnel to help train the local forces fighting against the Islamic State.