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  • the Iraqi city of Fallujah was one of the first to rise up against US troops when they occupied it in 2003.

  • But today some perceptions are changing about who occupies Fallujah.

  • Most Iraqis opposed foreign influence.

  • Some welcomed the US withdrawal, but many, especially in Sunni regions, say they would choose a small American military presence over increased power from pro Iran militias.

  • Jabbar Abu Wissam is a local.

  • Over the past 17 years, he's watched his city fall to the United States, Al Qaeda, Islamic state and, most recently, Iraqi forces fighting alongside Iran backed paramilitaries.

  • Now there are concerns a US troop drawdown is creating a security vacuum, making Fallujah more dangerous.

  • If the Americans leave, Islamic State will be back.

  • The Al Qaeda network, other terrorist organizations, we, the people will be under the hammer.

  • His view is shared by many in former insurgent strongholds once loyal to Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein.

  • Some critics say Islamic state and the Iran backed paramilitaries stand to gain most from Washington's troop reduction.

  • They point to an increase in attacks by Islamic state and fear the Iran backed militias will use this violence to justify entrenching themselves Last month, Islamic state staged its biggest attack in years with a suicide bombing in Baghdad that killed more than 30.

  • Sabah Abdul Gafoor sees the American presence as a double edged sword and nothing will come in the We like the American presence when they are an instrument to provide us with protection.

  • And we hate the presence of the Americans and of others when their objective is to sabotage our country to destroy our civil society.

  • Washington's contingent is the largest coalition force, which includes 900 troops from other countries.

  • Security analysts estimate there are thousands of Islamic state fighters in Iraq.

  • The Biden administration has given no indication it intends to significantly reversed the drawdown started under former President Donald Trump.

  • The Pentagon said a review is underway of numbers and the position of troops in Iraq.

the Iraqi city of Fallujah was one of the first to rise up against US troops when they occupied it in 2003.

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