Iraqi Leaders: We Won’t Be Dragged Into US-Iran Proxy War

Sadr urges Iraqis to stay united against US-Iran war

Ever-mounting tensions between the US and Iran have many concerned about an imminent war. Nowhere is this concern more serious than in Iraq, where top officials are warning they will not allow themselves to be dragged into a proxy war between the two sides.

President Barham Salih says Iraq has already “been through hell for the last four decades,” and that the last thing Iraqis want to see is war. Moqtada al-Sadr, the head of the largest political bloc, warned he didn’t think Iraq could survive if it was brought into a US-Iran War as a site for conflict.

This is a long-time position of Sadr, who has staked out a political position of international neutrality, and urged the leadership for years to avoid getting too close with either the US or Iran, specifically out of concern for it leading into a spillover war in Iraq.

That possibility is looming particularly large now, with US officials warning Iraq that they have problems with Iraqi Shi’ite militias, who are in practice part of the Iraqi security forces. At the same time, US buildup in the region is almost certain to lead to more US pushes to add ground troops on Iraqi soil, ensuring that if the US does attack Iran, the Iraqi border is going to be the front lines.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.