IranIraqMiddle EastQasem Suleimani

Iranian Top Commander: Resistance Front to Pursue Expulsion of US from Iraq

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri referred to the Iraqi parliament approval to end the US forces’ presence in their country, and stressed that the resistance forces will pursue the ratification under a US pullout.

“After assassination of martyred lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and his comrades, expulsion of the US military men from Iraq has been pursued and the Iraqi government is also after the implementation of the approval and God willing, the resistance pivot will remain in quest for the execution of the approval,” General Baqeri said, addressing the Law Enforcement Police commanders via a video conference on Monday.

He also reminded that after Iran’s retaliatory attack against the US Ein al-Assad base in Iraq, the American troops did not dare to respond, adding that this shows the deterrence power of the Iranian Armed Forces.

Lieutenant General Soleimani and Deputy Commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were assassinated in a US drone strike on Baghdad International Airport in Iraq on January 3.

On January 8, the IRGC Aerospace Force started heavy ballistic missile attacks on US Ein Al-Assad airbase in Southwestern Iraq near the border with Syria and a US operated airbase in Erbil in retaliation for the US assassination of General Soleimani.

Ein Al-Assad is an airbase with a 4km runway at 188m altitude from sea levels, which is the main and the largest US airbase in Iraq. Early reports said the radar systems and missile defense shields in Ein Al-Assad failed to operate and intercept the Iranian missiles. Unofficial reports said the US army’s central radar systems at Ein Al-Assad had been jammed by electronic warfare.

The second IRGC reprisal attack targeted a US military base near Erbil airport in Iraqi Kurdistan Region in the second leg of “Martyr Soleimani” reprisal operation.

Iraq said the attacks had not taken any toll from its army men stationed at these two bases. The US army had blocked entrance into Ein Al-Assad to everyone, including the Iraqi army.

It was the first direct attack on the US army ever since world war two.

The IRGC officials said none of the missiles had been intercepted.

After the US assassination of General Soleimani and Abu Muhandis, 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.

Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), better known by their Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, in a statement earlier this month blasted the US forces based in their country as “occupiers”, pledging to bring the occupation of the Arab country to an end.

Hashd al-Sha’abi groups said from now on the US troops in the Arab country will be dealt with as “occupation forces”, presstv reported.

The statement cited the US refusal to withdraw its forces from Iraq and its “continued aggression” against the country as the reasons for their decision.

“You have proven to everyone that you are occupation forces and that you only respect the language of force; on these bases you will be dealt with as occupiers,” the statement reads.

It also said that the Iraqi resistance forces’ military operations are a basic response to the US aggression.

“Be aware that all operations which have been carried out against you so far were only a minor response to your aggressions as the decision to carry out operations [against US forces] had not been taken back then,” it added.

They stressed that the recent US threats to target the resistance forces are aimed at covering up their own failures.

The statement was signed by Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, Kata’ib al-Imam Ali, Harakat al-Awfiy’a, Saraya Ashura, Harakat Jund al-Imam, and Saraya al-Khurasani.

In late March, the other PMU group Kata’ib Hezbollah blew the lid off a plot by the US military to carry out massive aerial operations — backed by ground troops – against bases of the elite anti-terror force, which is currently busy helping the government in the fight against a new coronavirus pandemic.

The PMU statement was concluded with a message to the Iraqi people, in which the resistance groups vowed that they will not let the US occupy the country and rob its resources.

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