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Iraqi Resistance Groups Vow Action after US Announces End to Combat Mission

Iraqi Resistance Groups Vow Action after US Announces End to Combat Mission
folder_openMiddle East... access_timeone month ago
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By Staff, Agencies

Iraq’s anti-terror Hezbollah al-Nujaba Movement dismissed the US claims about its occupation forces ending their combat mission in the Arab country, stressing that Washington cannot be trusted and that resistance groups will continue their struggle until all American occupation forces leave.

“American forces cannot be identified as anything other than occupiers if they do not withdraw by the end of the current year. We express our support for the groups that are mounting resistance against the occupying US forces,” Nujaba spokesman, Nasr al-Shammari, told Beirut-based al-Mayadeen network on Thursday evening.

The spokesman of the group that is part of the Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], better known by the Arabic name as Hashd al-Shaabi, termed retaliatory attacks against US troops in Iraq as "a great honor", saying, “We announce alliance with the groups that are targeting American forces.”

“The deadline for the withdrawal of occupying forces is winding up, and must be fully implemented. The resistance front will never face again the challenges it confronted between 2003 and 2011. The bloc is now stronger than ever,” Shammari pointed out.

“The main weapon in the hands of resistance fighters is their beliefs. This is something which they cannot separate the combatants from,” he said.

Meanwhile, Qassim al-Araji, Iraq’s national security adviser, said on Thursday that a final round of technical talks to formally end the US-led combat mission, which was purportedly formed to fight Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS/ISIL’ terrorist group], had concluded.

“We are officially announcing the end of the coalition forces’ combat mission,” al-Araji wrote on Twitter, adding that the coalition would continue providing assistance, advice and training to Iraqi forces.

There are about 2,500 US soldiers and another 1,000 coalition troopers currently based in Iraq. It is unclear how many will remain in the next phase of deployment in Iraq.

Earlier in the day, Secretary-General of al-Nujaba Movement Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi reiterated the resistance group's readiness to fight US forces if they refuse to pull out of Iraq.

American occupation forces will pay dearly for their massacres of Iraqi people and distinguished figures, Kaabi said, stressing, “The United States will continue to be viewed as an enemy even after the withdrawal of its troops from Iraq.”

He pointed out that the United States has “formed many proxies to pursue its own interests inside Iraq. The fight against them is a legitimate and national duty. The occupation only understands the language of armed struggle.”

Kaabi also stressed that Washington does not respect Iraq's sovereignty and does not recognize the authority of the Iraqi side it is negotiating with.

He said the statements of US officials “indicate that American forces will not withdraw from Iraq.”

The al-Nujaba chief also dismissed any disarmament of the Iraqi resistance groups that stood up against Daesh despite their limited capabilities at the time.

“How can we talk about disarming the resistance in a country that is still occupied?” he questioned.

Kaabi said Iraqi resistance fighters have turned into “a nightmare for the US and ‘Israel’ which are making any effort in order to disarm them."

The weapons of the resistance groups "will safeguard the Iraqi nation, and cannot be taken away from them by any means,” he also noted.

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