Major crowds convene in streets of Baghdad to denounce US military presence in Iraq

Friday, 24 January 2020 6:40 AM  [ Last Update: Friday, 24 January 2020 8:11 AM ]

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Screenshot from a live Press TV feed shows tens of thousands of Iraqi protesters gathering in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on January 24, 2019.

Major crowds have gathered in the Iraqi capital Baghdad to denounce US military presence in the country after the US assassinated Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was second-in-command of the Iraq’s PMU, in Baghdad earlier this month.

Iraq’s al-Ahd news network reported on Friday that Iraqis from “all of the country’s provinces” have gathered in the city.

The protesters were seen carrying banners and chanting slogans calling for the expulsion of US forces.Press TV@PressTV

Iraqis hold “million-man march” against U.S. forces presence in their country / #Iraq #IraqMillionManMarch https://www.pscp.tv/w/cPp6AjF6dkVOV0RMQVd5UWV8MXlOR2FwYmRYZ05LaotrRYt6qHQZV6QKX8Iskp1d2I6t9m4GdoIzDI28D34F …Press TV @PressTVIraqis hold “million-man march” against U.S. forces presence in their country / #Iraq #IraqMillionManMarchpscp.tv567Twitter Ads info and privacy437 people are talking about this

The demonstrators are planned to gather in the intersection of Baghdad University in the Jadriyah neighborhood.

According to Reuters, new checkpoints were installed across the capital by late Thursday afternoon in anticipation of the major rally.

Iraqis in Karbala city, south of Baghdad, were also seen boarding buses heading towards the capital.

The rally comes after Influential Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on Iraqis to stage “a million-strong, peaceful, unified demonstration to condemn the American presence and its violations” last week.

On January 5, the Iraqi parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution calling for the expulsion of all US-led forces in the country two days after Washington assassinated Soleimani and Muhandis.US rebuffs Iraq’s call to withdraw troops from Arab countryThe United States has rejected Iraq

Speaking on Thursday ahead of the planned rallies, Sadr called on Iraqis to mobilize and defend the country’s independence and sovereignty.

“Oh women, men and youth of the country, the time is now upon us to defend the country, its sovereignty and dependence,” Sadr said in a tweet.

“Spread the word of an independent future Iraq that will be ruled by the righteous; an Iraq which will not know of corruption nor aggression” he added, calling on Iraqis to expel the “tyrants”.

Various Iraqi resistance groups affiliated with the country’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) have also backed the anti-American rally.US forces to suffer heavy defeat if they refuse to leave Iraq: Hashd Sha’abi groupAn Iraqi PMU group says it is ready to inflict a heavy loss on US military forces if they refuse to withdraw from the country.

‘Zero hour in face-off with US’

Speaking to the Lebanese al-Mayadeen television channel, Jaafar al-Husseini, a spokesman for the PMU-affiliated Kata’ib Hezbollah resistance group, said that “other means” will be used against the Americans if they do not leave Iraq.

 He added that American presence has led to corruption and instability in the country.

In an interview with Iran’s Tasnim News Agency, Firas al-Yasser, member of the political bureau of the Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba movement, also said that today’s rallies marked “a new chapter” in the country’s relations with the US.

He added that Iraqi resistance groups support the stance of the country’s clerical leadership, which does not tolerate Washington’s  “theory of dependence and humiliation” against Iraq.

“We believe we have reached the zero hour in facing off with the US,” he said.

Yasser added that Iran’s missile attack on the Ain al-Assad base in the western Iraqi province of Anbar earlier this month was a “prelude” to the expulsion of US forces from the country.IRGC targets US airbases in Iraq in response to assassination of General SoleimaniIran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has targeted US airbases in Iraq.

Qais al-Khazali, leader of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, which is part of the PMU, has described Friday’s rallies as a “second revolution” a century after the Great Iraqi Revolution of 1920.

Iraqis staged mass demonstrations against British forces that had occupied Iraq at the time. 

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One Response

  1. It’s high time!

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