Iraqi Hezbollah calls on people to join anti-US protests
Millions of Iraqis are expected to take part in a mass rally against the US military presence in their homeland on Friday amid a fresh wave of public anger triggered by a recent meeting between Iraqi President Barham Salih and his American counterpart, Donald Trump.
The call for the march came days after the Iraqi parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution calling for the expulsion of all US-led forces.
The demand for US troops' withdrawal intensified after Lieutenant General Soleimani was assassinated along with several senior members of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis on Friday morning 3 January at Baghdad International airport.
Speaking on Thursday 23 January, Sadr Movement's spokesman Salah al-Ubaidi said the rally would be held at the intersection of Baghdad University in Jadriyah neighborhood, according to Iraqi media. He also did not rule out Sadr's participation in the event.
Influential Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has demanded that Iraqis stage a “million-man march” against the continued US military presence in the country, days after Iraq’s parliament voted to expel the American troops following an assassination operation by Washington on Iraqi soil.
Mohamed Mohie, the spokesman for Kata'ib Hezbollah which is part of Iraq's PMU or Hashd al-Sha’abi, underlined the importance of the upcoming mass march, saying it would reinforce the parliament's resolution and represent the will of the Iraqis from different walks of life.
Nasser al-Shammari, deputy secretary-general of the al-Naujaba Brigades, said that "an unprecedented number of people" are expected to turn out for Friday's rally.
"It will reignite the flame of resistance which won't die until we expel every single one of them (US troops) from Iraq. This is the will of the Iraqi people and the parliament," he said.
According to Aljazeera, Kata'ib Hezbollah spokesman told that the group demands from all Iraqis to participate in this great demonstration in order to support the parliament of Iraq on US expulsion decision which was ratified on 5 January 170 in which Iraqi lawmakers signed a resolution that required the government to request the withdrawal of US forces from the country. This was while only 150 votes are needed for the draft resolution to be approved.
Moreover, the leader of Iraq's Asaib Ahl al-Haq group issued a video statement condemning the Salih-Trump meeting and calling on Iraqis to join Friday's march.
The meeting between President Barham Salih with his American counterpart Donald Trump took place on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday.
Qais al-Khazali further warned that the US will have to face the consequences if it "continues to disregard Iraq's political and public will to expel US troops."