Iraqi cleric Seyed Muqtada al-Sadr ruled out US military presence in Iraq, threatening his forces would target American troops if they do not leave the Muslim country.
In a statement released on Monday, Sadr expressed strong opposition to the US military intervention in the country, calling on US authorities to withdraw their troops form Iraq.
He demanded his troops to withdraw from those areas where the US will have direct or indirect intervention.
“We will make the Americans taste the heat of our fire,” Sadr said.
He had earlier urged Baghdad’s new government not to cooperate with Western occupiers in confronting terrorism and instead seek military cooperation with the neighboring countries.
Also, Iraq’s Hezbollah Battalions in a statement issued on Monday strongly rejected any cooperation with the US-led coalition against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
“The coalition being formed against the ISIL which is led by the US is a prelude to a new occupation plot,” part of the statement said.
The Hezbollah Battalions urged the Iraqi nation to be vigilant against the scenarios of the West, specially the US, and their mercenaries in the region, implying that the ISIL is working for the US.
“We believe that demanding help from the US means a confiscation (by the US) of the Iraqi nation and people’s resistance against terrorism and the pain and agony that they have had to suffer for protecting Iraq’s unity,” the statement said.
“We believe that the US is responsible for Iraq’s problems and challenges and we do not have any hope in the United States,” it added.
The Battalions also urged Iraq’s religious authorities and elites as well as other layers of the society from different walks of life to take straightforward stances about the current developments and the US meddling in the country before it’s too late.
Earlier yesterday, the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, also voiced its opposition to Lebanon’s participation in the US-led coalition against the ISIL.
“Hezbollah is opposed to Lebanon’s presence in the anti-ISIL coalition led by the US and Saudi Arabia and created with the partnership of those countries supporting the Takfiri terrorist groups,” the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar quoted a source close to Hezbollah as saying on the condition of anonymity on Monday.
NATO heads of state convened in the Welsh city of Newport on 4-5 September and US Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told foreign and defense ministers participating in the NATO summit that the US was forming a broad international coalition against ISIL.
Ministers from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Italy, Poland and Denmark met in Wales to hammer out a strategy for battling ISIL, but the policy was questioned by many regional officials and political leaders.
After the so-called US-led coalition against the ISIL declared its creation, Iran also lashed out at the western states for pursuing a double-standard policy towards campaign against terrorism in various countries.