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United front to be formed against US military presence in Middle East: Top Nujaba official

The deputy secretary general of Iraq’s al-Nujaba Movement slams the recent US assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and the second-in-command of Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, saying a united front is going to be formed against US’s military presence in the region.

“The leaders of Iraqi resistance groups will convene a meeting either today or tomorrow to declare the formation of a united front against the US [military] presence. It is better for us (resistance factions) to join forces and deal with Washington, which classifies us in the same category,” Nasr al-Shammari said in an exclusive interview with Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network on Monday.

“The battle has now moved to the heart of Washington’s allies in the region, which are pushing for attacks targeting us. The term international terrorism applies to the United States once it came to our region and occupied it,” Shammari added.

He noted that the blood of General Soleimani and Muhandis frustrated all US plots against Iraq, emphasizing that his group had always been skeptical about US actions in the Arab country.

“The American presence in Iraq is harmful to military operations against Daesh and the country itself… We will go to war against the American military presence wherever possible in the region,” Shammari said.

He then referred to the recent US drone strike against the base of Hashd Shaabi’s 45th Brigade near the border town of al- Qa’im in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, describing it as the zero hour of the war against the resistance front.

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“We are ready to fight the United States; and the martyrdom of some of our comrades will not change anything in this equation,” Shammari pointed out.

The high-ranking Nujaba official went on to say that the revenge for the blood of General Soleimani, Muhandis and their companions will be beyond expectations, saying, “The response to the [US] aggression started yesterday and with the decision of the [Iraqi] parliament.”

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“Whoever talks about a security agreement with Washington is delusional. There is no longer such an accord. The Iraqi parliament’s decision is binding, and does not allow any American trooper to remain in Iraq.

“The United States was disappointed by the Iraqi parliament’s decision to end the security agreement. [President Donald] Trump can impose unilateral sanctions on Iraq only if he receives a congressional mandate, which is difficult to obtain,” Shammari noted.

He went on to say that Baghdad never requested Washington to build a military base in Iraq, describing the construction of such sites as “a violation of the Iraqi sovereignty.”

“How can Trump ask for the cost of building a military base that violated the sovereignty of Iraq, and was not built at the request of Baghdad?” Shammari asked.

“Revenge of the blood of the martyrs will rock them like an earthquake as missiles fall on their heads. The US embassy in Baghdad is a very big target for the [Iraqi] resistance [groups]. It is a military base and a den of espionage. It serves as an intelligence center for both the US and [Israel’s] Mossad. There are thousands of [US] marines there,” he underlined.

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Shammari added that Trump would not have dared commit the crime of assassinating General Soleimani and Muhandis if he had not been incited by the Israeli regime and the rulers of Saudi Arabia.

“The major fruit of the blood of the martyrs will be the annihilation of Israel,” he emphasized.

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