“Any kind of resistance is a natural right of the Iraqi people,” Abu Ali al-Askari said in a message on his Twitter page, warning of harsh retaliation against any attack carried out by the American military.
He said the ultimate goal of the Iraqi people’s resistance is to compel the occupying forces to leave the country so that the parliament’s law will be implemented.
Back in January 2020, the Iraqi parliament passed a law demanding the expulsion of all US-led foreign forces from the Arab country, in response to the US assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror General Qassem Soleimani, along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units, two days earlier.
“Traitors and criminals are those who defend the occupying forces and the murderers of our nation, not those who defend the sovereignty and blood of the people of his country,” al-Askari said.
He also said that Iraqi resistance forces avoid attacking diplomatic missions, even “the embassy of evil (the US) in Baghdad” as a principled policy unrelated to any foreign party.
Resistance vows to intensify anti-US operations
A member of the political bureau of the Iraqi anti-terror Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq group also said that Iraqi resistance groups have no choice but to confront the US militarily, noting that the resistance is ready to respond to any US attack against the PMU forces.
“In the coming days, the resistance groups will intensify their operations against the presence of the US, which does not respect Iraq’s sovereignty and the laws of the parliament and the government,” Saad al-Saadi told Shafaq News Agency on Thursday.
According to al-Saadi, Iraqi resistance groups gave diplomacy ample opportunity, but the US government took the opportunity to procrastinate.
The Iraqi government “must play its role in the international community and demand the expulsion of Americans from Iraq,” he said.
He also said that attacks against American bases in Iraq are carried out in line with a pledge the resistance groups made following recurring crimes by the American forces against the PMU, also known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, and the assassination of Gen. Soleimani and Abu Mahdi.
The American military’s positions, especially the Ain al-Assad airbase that hosts the US troops in the western Iraqi province of al-Anbar, have been targeted repeatedly in the aftermath of the US assassination of the key anti-terror figures.
The Ain al-Assad was initially targeted by dozens of missiles from Iran on January 8, 2020, five days after the assassination, as a part of Iran’s pledged “harsh revenge” against the US military.
The latest attack against the airbase was carried out on Wednesday, more than a week after the US military conducted a deadly air raid against targets reportedly belonging to resistance forces on the Iraqi-Syrian border.
Damage assessment team denied entrance to Ain al-Assad
According to an Iraqi security source, US troops at the Ain al-Assad have prevented a damage assessment team from entering the airbase after the latest rocket attack.
“US forces prevented a security group headed by a senior officer from entering the building of the Ain al-Assad airbase to assess the damage caused by a rocket attack yesterday,” the source told Arabic-language al-Maalomah news agency on Thursday.
The source speculated that based on the available information, the US forces in the base suffered heavy casualties and great damage as a result of the attack, but the American forces have been trying to cover up the extent of the damage.
“The US forces prevented security vehicles from passing in front of the base or moving from one area to another,” the source added.
Meanwhile, Iraq’s Sabereen news agency on Wednesday put the number of the wounded from the attack at five. Afterwards, US-led coalition spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto alleged that only two troops sustained “minor injuries” in the attack.