An Iraqi official revealed Tuesday that the US military has established two new military bases in western Iraq, close to the Syrian border.
The move comes less than a week after US President Donald Trump decided to begin withdrawing his country’s troops deployed in Syria.
Anadol provincial council member Farhan al-Dulaimi said that “the US military has established two new military bases on empty land in the province.”
Al-Dulaimi said that “the first base was established north of the Rummaneh district of the province of Syria on the border, which is located 360 kilometers west of Ramadi, the center of Anbar province.”
While the second base was established to the east of the city of Rutba, 310 kilometers west of Ramadi, and less than 100 kilometers from the Syrian border, according to the same source.
Al-Rutba is strategically located in the vast desert west of Al-Anbar. It is a meeting point of major roads coming from three border crossings: Arar with Saudi Arabia, Trebil with Jordan and Al-Walid with Syria.
Dulaimi pointed out that the purpose of the two signatories is to “help the Iraqi forces to control the country’s borders, to prevent the infiltration of gangs,” urging “and the failure of the terrorist organization to enter those liberated cities.”
“Dozens of American soldiers are present in the bases,” he said, adding that “there were no drones and other military equipment.”
Neither the Iraqi government nor the US military command issued an immediate comment on what the provincial council member had announced.
The number of US military bases in Anbar province is now four. The soldiers are also stationed at Habbaniyah, 30 kilometers east of Ramadi, and Ain al-Asad in the Baghdadi district, 90 kilometers west of Ramadi.
About 5,000 US troops have been deployed in Iraq since the formation of the US-led international coalition in 2014 to fight a militant organization.
The White House spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, has announced that Washington began the process of withdrawing troops from Syria, and that US forces are preparing for the next stage of fighting the organization calling for the terrorist.