News   /   Iraq

Iraqi protesters demand end to American military presence during rally in Baghdad

A man holds a picture showing the portraits of (L to R) Iran's late top general Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, both killed in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport in January, during a demonstration outside the entrance to the Iraqi capital Baghdad's highly-fortified Green Zone on November 7, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Hundreds of Iraqis have rallied in the capital Baghdad to renew call for an end to US military presence in the Arab country in accordance with a parliament vote earlier this year.

The Saturday demonstration took place in Jadriyah neighborhood near an entrance to the high-security Green Zone, where government buildings and foreign missions, including the US embassy, are located.

The protesters were seen carrying banners and chanting slogans demanding the expulsion of US forces. 

"We will choose resistance if parliament's vote is not ratified!" read one of the banners at the demonstration.

Others carried signs bearing the logo of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), also known as Hashd al-Sha'abi.

Citing an unnamed Iraqi security source, Iraq's Arabic-language al-Sumeriyah news channel said that police made a heavy deployment of Security forces near the site of the protest for precautionary measures.

Iraqi lawmakers unanimously approved a bill on January 5, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country following the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Iraq's PMU, and their companions in a US airstrike authorized by President Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport two days earlier.

Later on January 9, former Iraqi prime minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, called on the United States to dispatch a delegation to Baghdad tasked with formulating a mechanism for the move.

The 78-year-old politician said Iraq rejected any violation of its sovereignty, particularly the US military's violation of Iraqi airspace in the assassination airstrike.

In July, Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council said the country regarded the US assassination of General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis on its soil as a criminal act.

The Council said it had coordinated its legal procedure with the Iranian Judiciary and the two countries would file a joint lawsuit against the US.

Iraq continues investigations into assassination

Meanwhile on Saturday, Iraqi lawmaker Uday al-Shaalan, who is a representative of the Fatah coalition, said investigations into the assassination of the two commanders are underway.

Speaking to Iraq's Al-Ahad news, the Iraqi legislature further called on the parliament's Security and Defense Commission to hold a meeting to discuss the government's probe into the case.

He said that the government should as soon as possible inform the parliament of the results of its investigation.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku