|Over 3,000 U.S.
troops have secretly returned to Iraq via Kuwait for |
operations pertaining to the recent developments in Syria and
northern Iraq, Press TV reports.
According to our correspondent, the U.S. troops have secretly entered Iraq in multiple stages and are mostly stationed at Balad military garrison in Salahuddin province and al-Asad air base in al-Anbar province.
Reports say the troops include U.S. Army officers and almost 17,000 more are set to secretly return to Iraq via the same route.
All U.S. troops left Iraq by the end of 2011, after nine years of occupation, as required by a 2008 bilateral security agreement between the two countries. The troops left Iraq for the neighboring Kuwait.
Washington decided to pull out all its troops from Iraq after Baghdad refused to grant legal immunity to the remaining U.S. soldiers.
Washington claims that the only U.S. military presence left in Iraq now is 157 soldiers responsible for training at the U.S. Embassy, as well as a small contingent of Marines protecting the diplomatic mission.
FACTS & FIGURES
In 2003, the U.S. led the invasion of Iraq under the pretext that former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, possessed weapons of mass destruction.
The initial invading force in Iraq was around 130,000 soldiers. This number was expected to be dropped down to under 50,000 within a year. Two years later, there were 150,000 U.S. soldiers in the country. One of the interesting Iraq war facts is that as of November 2009, there were around 115,000 U.S. soldiers still stationed there. iraqwarfacts.com
In October 2004, a CIA report concluded that former Iraqi dictator did not possess weapons of mass destruction at the time of U.S. invasion in 2003.
There is no agency that keeps track of accurate numbers of Iraqis killed but some local sources put the number well over one million.
Most of the Iraqis displaced post-2006 have not returned home, and an estimated 1.5 million live in neighboring countries. undispatch.com
The direct cost of the Iraq war to the United States Treasury was $1 trillion. That excludes the “downstream” costs of things like veteran benefits and long-term care for the wounded. One trillion divided by the U.S. population of 307 million equals a cost of over $3,200 per American citizen taxpayer. undispatch.com
According to icasualties.org, the total number of U.S. military fatalities, as a result of the 2003 attack and the following occupation, stands at 4,486.