Qais Khazali Secretary-General Asai'b Ahl Al-Haq Shi'ite Militia in Iraq said in an interview with Al-Ahd TV (Iraq) that the militia has decided to postpone its retaliation against the U.S. for the killing of Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis. He elaborated that there is no specific time set yet. He added that the militia has the missile capability to impose a war of attrition against the U.S. that would force it to leave Iraq, when the "coffins start coming back." He added that the type of missile used by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in Palestine against Israel was invented in Iraq, so the Iraqis have the capability to arm it with a "much larger warhead" than the Palestinians use. However, this would not be the first step, which is targeting American economic interests outside of Iraq in response to sanctions. Khazali continued to say that the military resistance will not be limited only to the Shi'ite factions. The interview was aired on February 8, 2020.
Qais Khazali: "A decision was made to postpone the military response [against the Americans]. When we reach [a decision]... There is no specific time. It could be a week. It could be a month."
Interviewer: "So the decision [to retaliate] remains..."
Qais Khazali: "Absolutely. We have the right in this respect.
"[Our missile capabilities] are very significant. The missile used by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad against Israel – whenever they would launch these missiles, the Israelis had to withdraw. They would have to stop the escalation. This missile was given many names, but it was first invented and produced in Iraq. It was first called the Isthar Missile. If the Palestinian resistance factions manage to produce it with a certain warhead, it could be produced in Iraq with a much larger warhead. We have the patent to this missile. This is just an example. For us, the military capability to confront the American occupation, and to impose a war of attrition upon it, which will force it to leave [Iraq], when the coffins return to America, and the American public opinion... This is something that we are entirely capable of. But to tell you the truth, this is not something we want to do as a first step.
"If the United States harms Iraq's economic interests, due to Iraq's rejection of the American military presence, the American economic interests will be targeted. If the need arises, in order to create balance... If Trump, or his administration, freezes Iraqi funds... If the need arises to create balance by targeting U.S. economic interests outside of Iraq, we will do it.
"When the decision is made and the resistance factions begin to act, the military resistance will not be limited to the Shi'ite factions."