“As resistance groups, we have taken up and will continue to take up arms to destroy any US or US military presence on Iraqi soil,” Qais Khazali said on Thursday.
“There is no room for American military bases, neither in al-Assad nor in al-Harir,” he said. “This is the decision and promise of the men of resistance.”
Iraqi lawmakers, last year, approved a bill requiring the Baghdad government to end the presence of all foreign military forces in the Arab country.
The Iraqi MPs’ decision came two days after the high-profile assassination of top Iranian and Iraqi anti-terror commanders – General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of Iraq’s PMU – near Baghdad airport in a drone strike authorized by former US President Donald Trump.
Anti-American sentiments rose sharply following the assassination of the two top commanders, who played a major role in the defeat of the Daesh terrorist group in Iraq. It is estimated that there are currently 2,500 American troops in Iraq.
“We emphasize that the current operations of the resistance will continue and will increase everywhere in Iraq, in the west and in the north of the country. This is a fundamental issue which we want to be a national stance,” Khazali said.
He said demanding the expulsion of American forces amounts to the implementation of the country’s constitution.
The United States is set to resume strategic talks with Iraqi officials this month over the status of its combat forces in Iraq.
Talks between the US and Iraq began in June 2020 under the Trump administration. But the upcoming talks are the first under the Biden administration.