After Afghanistan, the Republic of Iraq became the second country in the Greater Middle East to suffer a US military invasion in recent years. Many years have since past, yet war rages on in this country, between the new government and various ethnic and extremist groups, and it has become a staging ground for American military operations in neighboring Syria. Apart from Syria, Iraq borders with Turkey and Iran, and the United States currently has rather tense relations with these countries, especially Turkey. The presence of a US military base on Iraqi territory is an important argument that Washington uses in negotiations with these countries. Iraq is strategically important for the United States in its plans to maintain and intensify the influence it has in the Middle East. Lately, however, this state has begun making fervent efforts to break free from American control.
After the United States invaded Iraq in 2003 and toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime, a new government was formed in the country. Unsurprisingly, this government formed under American occupation is largely comprised of individuals who have been loyal to the United States, or who at least consider America a key partner for their country. In 2011, an official flag ceremony took place to mark the beginning of the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. However, the United States still has a military presence in the country to this day at a number of military bases used for conducting operations in the region. These operations have included fighting against groups of fighters from the illegal DAESH (Arabic-language acronym for ISIL) terrorist group, as well as shadier campaigns, such as supporting the Syria’s “moderate opposition” or the recent murder of Iranian major general Qasem Soleimani.
The American presence is a cause of discontent among incumbent Iraqi government officials and anti-government militia groups alike, as well as many ordinary Iraqi citizens. Different kinds of anti-American campaigns take place on a regular basis in Baghdad.
After 2011, the Iraqi government were given the opportunity to work more independently. Even though the United States remains an important partner for Iraq, including in the areas of defense and defense technology, Iraq has started developing relations with other potential partners. After 2011, a shift in Iraqi politics was already noticeable,