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US Petraeus warns Iran is greatest danger facing Iraq, not ISIS

Former Head of NATO and the multinational forces in Afghanistan US General David Petraeus warned about the Iranian regime's threat to Iraq, French daily Le Figaro reported.

Petraeus described the activities of Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Iranian regime's Quds Force in Iraq, as "disturbing".

"Islamic State (ISIS) is not the greatest danger facing Iraq," Petraeus said. "It will be defeated sooner or later, and Iraq will preserve its territorial integrity. If the Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and parliament manage to reassure Sunnis, give them reasons to support the new Iraq, then these will help them get rid of ISIS."

Petraeus said: "The fear is that these militias do not just clean the conquered areas, but they also deport Sunnis and seek to alter the demographic balance in some places, such as Diyala province, north of Baghdad and some mixed neighbourhoods of the capital."

About the reappearance of the Shia militias, which beat Al-Qaeda in 2008 and were then beaten by the international and the Iraqi army, he said: "Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Iranian Quds Force, works surprisingly openly in Iraq."

Adding that Suleimani offers consultation, logistics and weapons to the militias. "This is amazing for someone like him more used to operating in the shadows," said Petraeus. "This is disturbing."

Petraeus accused former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki of damaging the Iraqi army as he changed the well qualified and moderate chiefs with extremist and corrupted ones. This led to his dissolution of the army, which was easily beaten by ISIS.

The American General warned that the Shia militias might carry out ethnic cleansing against the Sunnis, after the retreat and defeat of ISIS, in order to create a new demographic reality as mentioned above.

Asia & AmericasIraqMiddle EastNewsSyriaUS
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