Iraqi Resistance Against US Forces to Persist Until Full Withdrawal - Asaib Leader
By Staff, Agencies
Leader of Iraq’s anti-terror movement Asaib Ahl al-Haq Sheikh Qais Khazali said the armed resistance against American forces occupying Iraq will continue until they are fully removed from the Arab country.
“As resistance groups, we have taken up and will continue to take up arms to destroy any US or US military presence on Iraqi soil,” Khazali said on Thursday.
“There is no room for American military bases, neither in al-Assad nor in al-Harir,” he said. “This is the decision and promise of the men of resistance.”
Iraqi lawmakers, last year, approved a bill requiring the Baghdad government to end the presence of all foreign military forces in the Arab country.
The Iraqi MPs’ decision came two days after the high-profile assassination of top Iranian and Iraqi anti-terror commanders – General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards [IRG], and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [PMU] – near Baghdad airport in a drone strike authorized by former US President Donald Trump.
Anti-American sentiments rose sharply following the assassination of the two top commanders, who played a major role in the defeat of Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] in Iraq. It is estimated that there are currently 2,500 American troops in Iraq.
“We emphasize that the current operations of the resistance will continue and will increase everywhere in Iraq, in the west and in the north of the country. This is a fundamental issue which we want to be a national stance,” Khazali said.
He said demanding the expulsion of American forces amounts to the implementation of the country’s constitution.
The United States is set to resume strategic talks with Iraqi officials this month over the status of its combat forces in Iraq.
Talks between the US and Iraq began in June 2020 under the Trump administration. But the upcoming talks are the first under the Biden administration.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Khazali warned of certain countries’ agendas in Iraq, especially that of the United Arab Emirates, saying the UAE is seeking to impact Iraq’s election results.
“Therefore, we do not accept the result of an election handled by the Emirates’ rulers,” Khazali said, adding that the UAE’s plot will not be implemented as long as national forces and the anti-terror PMU forces are present in Iraq.
Earlier in March, Khazali warned of a conspiracy against Iraq hatched by an Emirati security team which is reportedly in the country to influence the Iraqi intelligence service.
In his Thursday remarks, he also lauded the PMU forces for their sacrifices in the fight against terrorism.
Khazali also warned of secret attempts aimed at normalizing Iraq’s ties with the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime, saying that Iraq will not yield to such attempts.