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Iraqi anti-terror groups’ truce with US short-term, depends on troop withdrawal: Legislator

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows fighters from the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) in an undisclosed location in Iraq. (Photo the PMU media bureau)

A senior Iraqi lawmaker says a proposed truce by anti-terror resistance groups, which are part of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha'abi, to suspend attacks on United States forces is temporary and depends on the complete withdrawal of American troops by year-end.

“The truce isn't open-ended,” Ahmad al-Assadi, spokesman of the Fatah Alliance and a former official spokesman for Hashd al-Sha’abi, told AFP news agency late on Wednesday.

“In my estimation, at its earliest it could end around the US elections,” slated for November 3, “or it could last until the end of the year,” he added.

“A truce lasting longer than the end of the year doesn't make much sense. We're only giving the government more time to negotiate the withdrawal,” Assadi pointed out.

Iraqi resistance groups, in a joint statement released on October 10, agreed on a conditional ceasefire to American forces present in Iraq, saying they would halt their military operations against the US troops, including rocket attacks, provided that Washington does not persist in maintaining its presence in the Arab country.

They stressed that the “conditional opportunity” was created “to respect the good efforts made by some national and political figures to draw up a clear and specific timetable for the implementation of the decision of the Iraqi people, parliament, and government on withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq.”

Anti-US sentiments have been running high in Iraq since the assassination of top Iranian anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units, along with their companions in a US assassination drone airstrike authorized by President Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport on January 3.

Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill two days later, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country.

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