Iraq’s Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq resistance movement says the Iraqi government is not entitled to keep any foreign forces in the country without the authorization of the country’s parliament, stressing that the American forces’ presence in Iraq runs counter to the Arab country’s constitution.
“The presence of American troops in Iraq is a clear violation of the Iraqi constitution,” Mahmoud al-Rubaie, spokesman of the resistance movement’s political bureau, told Iran’s Tasnim news agency.
“Furthermore, there is no agreement or approval for the presence of these forces in Iraq from the parliament of Iraq, as a country with a parliamentary system, and the government has no right to keep any foreign troops on the Iraqi soil without the consent of the parliament,” al-Rubaei said.
He pointed out that the incumbent Iraqi government has admitted, unlike previous governments, that the US forces are neither training nor advisory forces, but rather, they belong to the US Army’s Ground Force, who have committed a series of crimes in Iraq.
“Among the crimes committed by the American forces in Iraq, we can mention the biggest, which is the martyrdom of the commanders of victory,” al-Rubaei said.
He was making a reference to the US assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror commander, General Qassem Soleimani, along with deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, at Baghdad International Airport in January 2020, after which Iraq’s Parliament passed a law demanding the expulsion of all US-led forces.
‘Useless strategic talks only prolong US military presence’
The spokesman said that Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi, in his upcoming visit to Washington, would pursue the US military’s withdrawal from Iraq.
He termed the strategic talks between Baghdad and Washington as “useless”, saying such recurring talks are aimed at prolonging the US occupation forces’ stay on the Iraqi soil, which contradicts the parliament’s law and the will of the Iraqi nation.
“We believe that the Americans will leave Iraq in the near future,” al-Rubaei continued, “because the Islamic Resistance has made its decision to confront them, and this decision was made after the failure of all efforts and the end of all chances given to the Americans and the current Iraqi government for diplomatic and political moves to rid Iraq of these forces.”
He expressed hopes that public pressure and efforts made by resistance groups and some political movements would drive the Iraqi government to publicly demand the withdrawal of US forces.
“We have no request but this from the government, despite the fact it has been long overdue,” the spokesman added.
The US, under both administrations of Donald Trump and Joe Biden, has repeatedly targeted the positions of Iraqi resistance forces, who played a significant role in defeating the Daesh (ISIS) terrorist group.
Biden’s first military strike abroad was against the PMU forces at the Iraqi-Syrian border back in February, only a month into his presidency. Biden also ordered airstrikes against the headquarters of the 14th Brigade of the PMU, also known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, along Iraq and Syria’s common border last month.
Some 3,500 foreign troops, including 2,500 Americans, are still in Iraq, with the alleged aim of preventing the re-emergence of Daesh in the Arab country.
Observers, however, say Washington’s targeting of resistance forces is aimed at reviving Daesh and, in turn, prolonging its illegal occupation of Iraq under the pretext of fighting the terrorist group.
Such a US military presence also exists in Syria, where the Pentagon’s mission is not coordinated with the Damascus government, and while there is no clear timetable for withdrawal.