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Iraqi Shi'ite Militias: The American Embassy In Baghdad Is A Big Target; If Sanctions Are Imposed On Iraq We Will Stop The Flow Of Oil From The Gulf

The Iraqi Shi'ite militias continue to threaten revenge for the deaths of Qassem Soleimani, Commander of the Quds Force of the IRGC, and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, deputy head of the Iraqi Al-Hashd Al-Shabi (the Popular Mobilization Units, PMU) in an American drone strike, and in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's threats to impose sanctions on Iraq if it compels the American forces to withdraw from its territory.

Deputy Secretary General Of The Al-Nujaba Movement: The American Embassy In Baghdad Is A Big Target; The Campaign Has Moved To The Arena Of The U.S. Allies In The Region

Nasser Al-Shammari, Deputy Secretary General of the Iraqi Hizbullah Al-Nujaba movement, reported that an upcoming meeting is expected among the heads of the resistance factions in order to discuss a response to the deaths, and threatened that it would be directed against American allies in the region. Al-Shammari said: "Senior officials of the Iraqi resistance are planning to meet today or tomorrow to establish a united front against the American presence in the region. It would be beneficial if we, as factions of the resistance, formed a single entity to confront Washington, which defines us all in the same way [as terrorist organizations] ..."[1] He added: "Trump would not have dared to perpetrate this crime if it were not for the incitement  from 'Israel' and the Saudi rulers. As far as we are concerned, the American military presence is a target in Iraq. The American Embassy in Baghdad is like a military base and a den of espionage, there are thousands of Marines there and it is a very big target for the resistance. The campaign has now moved to the center of the countries which are Washington's allies in the region and agitate to attack us. The big result of the [shedding of the] blood of the martyrs will be the annihilation of Israel. The revenge for the blood of the martyrs will be shocking when the missiles fall on their heads."[2]


Al-Nujaba insignia

Hizbullah Brigades: We Will Destroy the American Air Force Base In Iraq

Several senior militia officials responded to the threats made by Trump that the U.S. would impose sanctions on Iraq if it expels the American forces from its territory. Abu 'Ali Al-'Askari, the military commander of the Hizbullah Brigades tweeted: "If the stupid Trump imposes economic sanctions on Iraq, we will take action with our friends to prevent the flow of oil from the Gulf to America. With respect to the [American] air base [in Iraq][3] – it will be destroyed if [Trump] insists on remaining in Iraq. We are prepared to assist the Iraqi government to protect the activities of the Chinese companies."[4]


Abu 'Ali Al-'Askari's tweet

However, Hizbullah Brigades spokesman Muhammad Muhi subsequently clarified that the Iraqi factions will respond only after Iran retaliates. In an interview with the Lebanese Elnashra channel Muhi said: "The Iraqi resistance factions are an inseparable part of the resistance axis; they operate within its framework with due consideration for the political and popular situation in Iraq and the extent of the crimes perpetrated by the U.S. against the Iraqi people. We are waiting for the Iranian response... and then we will determine the character and breadth of our response..."[5]

 

[1] Almaalomah.com, January 6, 2020.

[2] R-m-n.net, January 6, 2020.

[3] In response to the decision by the Iraqi parliament about expelling the foreign forces from Iraq, President Trump said: "We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that's there. It cost billions of dollars to build. We're not leaving unless they pay us back for it." bbc.com, January 6, 2020.

[4] Twitter.com/abualiaalaskry, January 6, 2020.

[5] Elnashra.com, January 7, 2020.