Leaders of Pro-Iranian Shi'ite Militias In Iraq: Strategic Dialogue With U.S. Is Pointless; We Will Continue Attacks On U.S. Forces

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April 4, 2021

In the recent days, ahead of the Strategic Dialogue between the U.S. and Iraq, scheduled to begin on April 7, 2021, leaders of the pro-Iranian Shi'ite militias in Iraq clarified that they consider the talks to be pointless. They added that the only valid option is a full withdrawal of the U.S. forces from the country, and that their military activity against these forces will continue until this occurs.   

On April 4, 2021, Iraqi media reported that two mortars had fallen near the Balad military base, south of Tikrit, which houses U.S. troops, among others. According to an Iraqi security source there were no casualties or damage. [1]

Asa'ib Ahl Al-Haq Secretary-General: We Will Increase Our Attacks On The U.S. Forces

At an April 2, 2021 rally in the Dhi Qar Governorate in southern Iraq, Qais al-Khaz'ali, the secretary-general of Asa'ib Ahl Al-Haq, called on the Iraqi government to show courage and comply with "the will of the people" and the decision of the Iraqi parliament, and end the presence of the U.S. forces in the country. He said: "We, the Islamic resistance factions, have borne and will continue to bear arms in order to end the military occupation and remove any [American] presence and all the military bases of the Americans, who have never been interested in the good of the Iraqis and never will be, but only in the good of the Zionist entity. The resistance operations that are currently taking place will continue and will increase in number and quality, if the U.S. does not agree to shut down its bases in western and central Iraq, and  even in the north of the country… There is no valid reason for [the continued presence of the Americans] in the Ain Al-Assad base in Al-Anbar, in the al-Harir base in Irbil, or anywhere else.  This is the decision and the promise of the men who warned the American occupation forces in 2003 and 2004 and expelled them [from the country] against their will, when [the U.S.] had over 10,000 troops and bases all over Iraq. Thanks to Allah and the support of our people, we now have greater abilities and resources to expel the occupier."[2]

Qais Al-Khaz'ali at the rally (source: Telegram.me/ Qais_alkhazali, April 2, 2021)

Jawad Al-Talibawi, the military spokesman for Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haq, stressed that "the American occupier and all his supporters and collaborators must realize that the resistance has taken a firm decision to continue its operations until the American occupier is expelled and all his bases throughout Iraq, including in northern Iraq, are shut down."[3]

Hizbullah Brigades: The Strategic Dialogue Is Pointless

This Hizbullah Brigades also disparaged the upcoming talks and threatened to continue the attacks on the U.S. forces until they fully withdraw from Iraq. The militia's spokesman, Ja'far Al-Husseini, said: "The negotiations are pointless, because the Iraqi people has decided to end the presence of the U.S. occupation. The Iraqi resistance continues to pressure the U.S., and it [too] is determined to end the occupation."[4]

On April 4, the Hizbullah Brigades' Telegram channel posted an image of the U.S. flag spawning scorpions, with the caption "Absolute Evil." [5]

 

 

Supporters Of The Militias On Twitter: Resistance Is The Only Way To Expel The American Forces

Supporters of the pro-Iranian Shi'ite militias in Iraq echoed the messages of the militias' leaders against the Strategic Dialogue, as well as the threats of continued attacks. Tweeting under the hashtag "The decision to expel the occupation has already been taken," many of them repeated the slogan "No negotiations and no nothing, except resistance."[6] User "ELNAZ K/M" wrote: "As the secretary-general of [Lebanon's Hizbullah, Hassan Nasrallah], said, if you don't leave vertically [on your own two feet], you will leave horizontally [lying in a coffin]." She appended an image of a coffin wrapped in a U.S. flag.[7]

Others referred to what they called the negative impact of the U.S. military presence in Iraq. One user wrote: "America is the source of all evil in the world, and especially in Iraq. Continued occupation means continued destruction and corruption."[8]

 

 

[1] Al-Rafidain.news, April 4, 2021.

[2] Ahlulhaq.com, April 2, 2021.

[3] Ahlulhaq.com, April 3, 2021.

[4] Telegram.me/centerkaf, April 3, 2021.

[5] Telegram.me/centerkaf, April 3, 2021.

[6] See e.g., Twitter.com/KM94310, April 3, 2021.

[7] Twitter.com/ELNAZ16424879, April 3, 2021. Nasrallah made a similar remark in response to the January 3, 2020 assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani and the deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.  See MEMRI TV Clip No. 7700, "Hizbullah Sec.-Gen. Hassan Nasrallah: Everyone in the Region Should Seek Retribution; Trump will Lose the Elections when U.S. Troops Arrive in Coffins; Soleimani’s Shoe is Worth Trump’s Head," January 5, 2020.   

[8] Twitter.com/mernashamari, April 3, 2020.

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