DAMASCUS, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Although the last U.S. combat brigade was pulling out of Iraq, Damascus-based Iraqi figures said Thursday that the pullout is a false one.
Chief of Iraq's Tribe Coalition Isam al-Bouhlala told Xinhua on Thursday that the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq is a tactical step.
"This is a tactical pullout comes in conjunction with U.S. congress elections. There is no real pullout and there is no independent Iraqi decision," al-Bouhlala said.
Al-Bouhlala, a prominent activist opposing to former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, argued that the United States has come to the Middle East not only to topple Saddam's regime, but also to dominate the region, control energy resources and rearrange the region according to its own interest.
"The U.S. administration has divided Iraq into sectarian and regional parts, which resulted in years of violence," he said.
Meanwhile, Damascus-based Iraqi journalist Bassam Mahdi told Xinhua that the U.S. pullout is a partial one as the U.S. forces have left behind 50,000 troops who will play a noncombat role, in addition to U.S. military bases and other military features in Iraq.
"It is not a full pullout, it is a scheduled partial one based on an agreement between the U.S. administration and the Iraqi government," Mahdi said.
"It is a formal pullout, and the Iraqi forces are incapable of preserving security and stability," he added.
A suicide bomber detonated on Tuesday among hundreds of army recruits in Iraq's capital city of Baghdad, killing 61 people and casting new doubt on the ability of Iraqi forces after the U.S. troops' upcoming pull out.
Syria is currently hosting more than 1 million Iraqi refugees who have fled their home country since 2003.