Sunni Mufti of Iraq Sheikh Mahdi Al-Sumaidaie said in an August 8, 2020 interview on Asia TV (Iraq) that he is ready to lead the "resistance" in their fight against U.S. forces if the Iraqi government and parliament fail to expel them. Al-Sumaidaie, who was appointed to his position by the pro-Iranian Al-Maliki government and whose authority is not recognized by all the Sunnis, explained that he had been the first imam to declare Jihad against American forces in 2003. Sheikh Al-Sumaidaie said that many Sunnis and most Shiites, including Muqtada Al-Sadr, would support him, and that he would acquire weapons from countries such as Turkey. He elaborated that providing weapons for the Iraqi resistance to fight against the Americans would help Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan win over the Iraqi people and restore Iraq’s honor and dignity.
Host: "Are you willing to lead the resistance against the American military today?"
Mahdi Al-Sumaidaie: "In 2003, I was the first imam to declare Jihad against the American forces. I thank Allah for the time I spent - five years - in American custody. The Americans know me better than most Iraqis do."
Host: "And are you ready to lead today?"
Al-Sumaidaie: "I am ready, Allah willing. If the government and parliament fail to get their act together... [Pharaoh's] magicians managed to unite [against Moses] but you're telling me that the government and parliament cannot unite over something that pertains to their honor, religion, dignity, and country, and expel occupying forces from their country?"
Host: "Do you expect Muqtada Al-Sadr to support you today?"
Al-Sumaidaie: "Him and others. Today, 80% of Shiites support the resistance. As for the Sunnis, who are completely oppressed and neglected - there are men with more willingness [to fight] than there was in 2003, because today, we Sunnis..."
Host: "So 80% [of Shiites], and you and your people... From where will you get weapons?"
Al-Sumaidaie: "Brothers, today there are countries..."
Host: "What country, for example?"
Al-Sumaidaie: "Any country. Turkey. Erdoğan is an honorable man."
Host: "You will bring weapons from Turkey and fight the Americans?"
Al-Sumaidaie: "Not me. He will..."
Host: "Erdoğan will risk giving you weapons?"
Al-Sumaidaie: "He won't risk anything. He is a brave man who wants to support the people."
Host: "But he would be bringing harm upon his own people."
Al-Sumaidaie: "No, he wouldn't. What, expelling an occupier brings harm? He would be expelling the occupiers and winning over the Iraqi people. He would be restoring honor and dignity to Iraq."