The leader of an anti-terror Iraqi group says the country’s resistance forces will celebrate the liberation of Iraq over the remains of American soldiers.
“The Iraqi resistance will not leave you alone and will celebrate the victory and liberation of Iraq over the remains of your occupying soldiers,” Akram al-Kaabi, the secretary general of the Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, tweeted Saturday, addressing the American forces in Iraq.
The remarks came after a senior US State Department official pleaded with Iraqi resistance groups to “just leave us alone,” following a surge in attacks against American positions in Iraq.
“I understand that some of these militias completely disagree with what the United States is trying to do in Iraq in fighting ISIS (Daesh), but we’re asking them, we’re demanding, that they just leave us alone and we’ll leave them alone, so that we can fight this common enemy, which is ISIS,” Acting Assistant Secretary of State Joey Hood said in an interview with Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television news network.
A spokesman for the political bureau of anti-terror Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq group on Saturday stressed that Iraqi resistance fighters are fairly capable of ending the presence of American occupation forces on the Iraqi soil.
“Resistance forces are treating US military presence on Iraqi soil as occupation,” Mahmoud al-Rubaie said. “There is no longer a legitimate ground for the presence of US military forces or other foreign troops in Iraq.”
Anti-US sentiment has been growing in Iraq since last year's assassination of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units, along with the region's legendary anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.
They were targeted along with their companions on January 3, 2020 in a terror drone strike authorized by former US president Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport.
Two days after the attack, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill that requires the government to end the presence of all foreign military forces led by the US.
The chairman of the Iraqi anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units better known as Hashd al-Sha’abi on Saturday described his fellow fighters as the main guarantor of security and stability in the Arab country, emphasizing that the combatants fully support Iraq’s army and security forces in their battle against Daesh remnants.
“Iraqis defeated the enemies and shattered their invincibility myth through the liberation of Mosul,” al-Maalomah news agency quoted Faleh al-Fayadh as saying in a statement on the fourth anniversary of the strategic city's liberation from Daesh extremists.
Hashd al-Sh’abai fighters have played a major role in the liberation of Daesh-held areas to the south, northeast and north of Baghdad, ever since the terrorists launched an offensive in the country in June 2014.
Back in November 2016, the Iraqi parliament approved a law giving full legal status to the fighters. It recognized the PMU as part of the national armed forces, placed the forces under the command of the prime minister, and granted them the right to receive salaries and pensions like the regular army and police forces.