Iraqi resistance groups have issued a statement announcing a halt to military operations against US and foreign forces in Iraq to allow them to leave the Arab country.
“In order 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, we give these forces a conditional opportunity,” the statement said on Saturday.
The statement warned the Americans against the consequences of any “deception, procrastination or delay” in fulfilling the key demand of the Iraqi people.
If they fail to meet the demand, “we will be compelled to move to an advanced stage of combat, taking advantage of the capabilities of the resistance … and you will pay double the price and your nose will be rubbed in the dirt,” it said.
The groups condemned a series of criminal acts carried out by the US against Iraq, including last year’s airstrikes on the positions of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, on the border with Syria, targeting public facilities, killing civilians, and facilitating Israeli air raids against the PMU bases.
The resistance groups also censured the US for assassinating Iran’s senior anti-terrorism commander and deputy chief of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi forces and their comrades.
The heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, which hosts foreign diplomatic sites and government buildings, has been frequently targeted by rockets and explosives in the past few years.
Anti-American sentiments have been running high in Iraq since the US assassinated Iran’s anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, and the deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, in Baghdad on January 3.
Just days later, Iraqi lawmakers unanimously passed a bill mandating the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq.
The US has refused to withdraw its troops, with US President Donald Trump balking at the idea with the threat to seize Iraq’s oil money held in bank accounts in the United States.
Iraqi resistance groups have pledged to take up arms against US forces if Washington fails to comply with the parliamentary order.