Deputy Secretary-General of the Iraqi Hizbullah Al-Nujaba Movement Nasser Al-Shammari said that the organization will continue to consider American forces in Iraq a legitimate target even though they are now considered to be filling an advisory role rather than a combat role. He made his remarks in an interview that was aired on Mayadeen TV (Lebanon) on July 26, 2021. Al-Shammari said that Iraqi government officials have been claiming that American troops in the country were there as advisors and not combatants since the war against ISIS, so it is impossible to know that anything has changed. He added that he believes that this is all a deception. Al-Shammari further said that Iraq has been engaging in wars of all kinds since the 1970s, therefore, it has no need of advisors to teach it how to fight, since Iraq is the country with the most combat experience in the region. For more about Al-Shammari, see MEMRI TV clips Nos. 8148, 8350, 7681, and 8684.
Nasser Al-Shammari: "Now we hear that the description [of U.S. forces in Iraq] will change from 'combat forces' to 'advisors.' We have heard it just now. Since the war against ISIS and to this day, all of the officials in the Iraqi government have been saying that the American forces in Iraq are only advising and training [Iraqi forces]. Nobody talked about 'combat forces.' And now it turns out that they are combat forces? Why should we believe that these words are true, given all the lies – excuse me for saying that – we heard before? How can we know it is not another deception or another lie? How can we know that this 'advisor' story is not just a guise for increasing the number of troops instead of withdrawing them?
"We, Iraqis, have been fighting ears since the 1970s. So what can an advisor, coming from another country, contribute to an Iraqi officer who has more than 30 years of experience in wars? Some of these wars were against countries, some of them were against superpowers like the U.S. and the coalition in the Gulf War, some of them were against Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. The Iraqi security forces have participated in all kinds of war and have become the most experienced forces in the area in these kinds of war. Therefore, there is no need at all [for American advisors], and we consider this a deception that is meant to prolong the presence of the [American] forces. And let me tell you this loud and clear: The targeting of these forces will continue, and they will be considered [legitimate] targets by the Iraqi resistance."