U.S. Hands Over Base to Iraqi Forces in Area Known to Be Hotbed for Iran-Backed Militia by Shawn – Military Times
The U.S. military announced Tuesday it had handed over a strategic outpost near the Iraq-Syria border to Iraqi forces in a region known to host an Iran-backed militia responsible for more than a dozen rocket attacks targeting coalition troops.
Two experts who spoke to Military Times worry the base nestled near a key border crossing area could fall into the hands of the Iran-backed group — cementing what national security experts have warned is Tehran’s goal of a land route to the Mediterranean Sea for the movement of arms, proxies and illicit goods.
Officials with Operation Inherent Resolve — the U.S.-led mission to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria — say the al-Qaim base transfer is about consolidating coalition forces following successful operations against ISIS militants…