Resistance Groups: US Sanctions Won’t Weaken Our Resolve to Defend Iraq

11 Aug 2021

Resistance Groups: US Sanctions Won’t Weaken Our Resolve to Defend Iraq

By Staff, Agencies

The Iraqi resistance groups targeted by US sanctions said the restrictive measures show that their counter-terrorism campaign poses a challenge to the Americans, stressing that the bans will fail to weaken their resolve to protect the homeland and restore its sovereignty.

The Asaib Ahl al-Haq and Kataib Hezbollah, both subdivisions of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], better known in Arabic as Hashd al-Shaabi, said on Tuesday that they would remain impervious to the US sanctions.

A day earlier, the US State Department said it had imposed sanctions on the two Iraqi resistance factions under the so-called Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act [INKSNA], which prohibits arms transfer to those targeted.

Asaib politburo spokesman Mahmoud al-Rubaie told Iraqi al-Ahad news website that the US restrictive measures against resistance groups as “a battle between right and wrong,” saying they represent the extent of the failure that successive US administrations have suffered in the Middle East.

The US sanctions did not catch Asaib by surprise since the group “expects anything from them [the Americans],” he added. “Whatever they do will not affect us because we are strong.”

Rubaie also said that the United States “is concerned about the political presence of the resistance and is therefore seeking a way to escape … Of course, the [Iraqi] government is also weak and cannot counter US pressure.”

Washington wants a “poor Iraq,” where the youths are jobless, he said.

Similarly, Asaib politburo member Ahmad al-Mousavi said that Washington was trying to drive the resistance out of the Iraqi political equation because it had brought about the failure of US schemes in the Arab country.

“US sanctions will not affect the performance of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq and will not remove this resilient Iraqi group from the political scene,” he added.

Mousavi expressed hope that the Iraqi government would take a clear stance on the new US bans, complaining, however, about Baghdad’s silence in the face of US restrictions against resistance groups over the past year.

Meanwhile, the Kaf Telegram channel, a Kataib Hezbollah-affiliate, said, “Let them impose on us whatever sanctions they have at their disposal. It is an honor that we are still a difficult challenge in their calculations.”

“We will continue our path to restoring [Iraqi] sovereignty and dignity by relying on God,” it said.

In early 2003, the US invaded Iraq under the later debunked pretext that the regime of Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

It withdrew soldiers from Iraq between 2007 and 2011, but redeployed them in 2014 along with other partners to allegedly counter the threat of Daesh.

Iraq managed to end the territorial rule of the Takfiri terrorist group in the country thanks to the sacrifices of the national army and Hashd al-Sha’abi, which had the backing of neighboring Iran.

On January 3, 2020, the US assassinated Iran’s anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of Hashd al-Sha’abi, two influential figures in the fight against Daesh.

Two days later, the Iraqi parliament unanimously approved a bill, demanding the expulsion of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the Arab country.

Since then, however, Washington has been dragging its feet on the troop pullout and targeting anti-terror groups from time to time.

Fruitless Strategy: US Targets Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Resistance Groups in Syria & Iraq with New Sanctions

10 Aug 2021

Fruitless Strategy: US Targets Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Resistance Groups in Syria & Iraq with New Sanctions

By Staff, Agencies

As part of its unlimited pressure on the Resistance axis, the US State Department has imposed a new round of sanctions on resistance groups in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, in what appears to be a sign of Washington’s anger over the successful role they have been playing.

In a notice issued on Monday, the Department’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation said the restrictive measures target Iraq’s Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq and Kata’ib Hezbollah, which are both subdivisions of Popular Mobilization Units [PMU] or Hashd al-Sha’abi along with the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement.

The sanctions were imposed under the so-called Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act [INKSNA], which bans arms transfer to those targeted.

Two Syrian entities, Wael Issa Trading Establishment and Ayman Al Sabbagh Trading, as well as three Russian firms, Charter Green Light Moscow, Asia-Invest LLC and NPP Pulsar LLC, were also included in the US sanctions list.

According to the notice, the sanctions were applied on July 29 under the INKSNA, which authorizes Washington to sanction foreign individuals, private entities, and governments that it deems to be engaged in proliferation activities.

The ban forbids US government departments, agencies and personnel from signing contracts with or from providing licenses or government assistance to the targeted groups and organizations.

“These measures shall be implemented by the responsible departments and agencies of the US government and will remain in place for two years from the effective date, except to the extent that the Secretary of State may subsequently determine otherwise,” read the notice.

In response, Saad Al-Saadi, a member of the Asaib politburo, said that the sanctions show that the US sees the resistance factions as a “stumbling block” to the Zionist-American projects in Iraq.

“This indicates that we have achieved the results that the Iraqi people want and thwarted these projects that were and still remain the cause of all the crises that the country is going through on the economic, political, and security levels,” he told Iraq’s Shafaq news agency.

Al-Saadi further stated: “We, the sons of resistance and national movements representing the Iraqi people, consider these sanctions as a pride and dignity for the Iraqi people…These sanctions only increase our resolve and steadfastness in adhering to our principles and values and the project of resisting the occupation and the illegal foreign presence in Iraq.”

Iraqi Resistance Groups Vow to Force US Troops to Leave Humiliated

 July 30, 2021

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By Staff, Agencies

Iraqi Kataib Hezbollah resistance movement has emphasized that the American military troops must withdraw from the Arab country, vowing that it is ready to force the occupation troops to do so.

The anti-terror group, which is part of the Popular Mobilization Units, better known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Shaabi, announced in a statement on Thursday that it has and will firmly oppose the dominance of “evil” colonial powers over the natural resources of Iraq.

The statement noted that Kataib Hezbollah will continue to carry out its duties regardless of pressures and challenges it might face.

“All resistance groups have become a thorn in the eye of the American enemy. We are fully prepared to once again drive US forces out of Iraq in humiliation,” it also read.

Kataib Hezbollah warned that further surprises await American occupation forces in case they insist on their presence on the Iraqi soil.

Jafar al-Hussaini, spokesman for the resistance movement, said the Iraqi factions would not target diplomatic missions in the country, describing attacks on the US embassy in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone as false-flag operations aimed at deceiving the Iraqi nation.

“Diplomatic facilities in Iraq are not on the list of targets by resistance forces. Attacks on the evil US embassy in Baghdad are meant to disrupt equations and trick Iraqi people,” Hussaini told Beirut-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen TV on Thursday.

“The perpetrators of attacks on the evil embassy are pursuing destructive interests, and their affiliations are suspicious,” he added.

In the same context, Leader of Asaib Ahl al-Haq Movement, Qais al-Khazali, said the United States does not intend to withdraw its forces from Iraq, stressing that the cost of continued presence of American forces in the country will be heavy.

“US overflights in Iraq are aimed at espionage purposes. Baghdad-Washington negotiations will not result in the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. This is just a deception game,” he added.

Khazali described the Iraqi government’s negotiations with the United States and the agreement purportedly ending the US combat mission in Iraq by the end of 2021 as “deceptive” and “bogus.”

He said the agreement does not explicitly state the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq, and fails short of addressing the violation of the Iraqi airspace by US military aircraft.

“The agreement has simply been struck in order to change the title of US forces. This is what we had earlier reported about. US overflights in Iraq are being carried out to spy on resistance groups. Our demand concerning the pullout of foreign military forces is legitimate,” Khazali said.

US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Monday sealed an agreement formally ending the US combat mission in Iraq by the end of the current year, more than 18 years after US troops were sent to the Arab country.

Under the agreement, however, US military forces will continue to operate in Iraq in what has been termed as an “advisory role.”

A joint Iraq-US statement issued after the meeting said the “security” relationship will be focused on “training, advising and intelligence-sharing.”

Speaking to reporters following the White House meeting, Biden claimed that the US would continue to “train, to assist, to help and to deal with Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] as it arises,” when the combat mission comes to an end.

The US currently has about 2,500 troops in Iraq. It is not known how many troops will stay in the country beyond 2021. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said “the numbers will be driven by what is needed for the mission over time.”

Anti-US sentiment has been growing in Iraq since the assassination in January 2020 of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units, along with the region’s legendary anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.

They were targeted along with their companions on January 3, 2020 in a drone strike authorized by former US president Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport.

Two days after the attack, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill that requires the government to end the presence of all foreign military forces led by the US.

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Nujaba: Entire US Military, Including “Criminal” Air Force, Must Leave Iraq

27 Jul 2021

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By Staff, Agencies

Iraq’s al-Nujaba resistance movement has called for a complete pullout of American forces from the country, saying the planned withdrawal under the newly-inked agreement between Baghdad and Washington must include the US military’s “criminal” air force.

“We have no confidence whatsoever in Americans, and do not agree to their presence under any circumstances. We fiercely oppose the US military presence, and demand a complete pullout of American forces,” Nasr al-Shammari, Nujaba’s spokesman, told the Lebanese al-Mayadeen news network in an interview on Monday night.

The comments followed a meeting between Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and US President Joe Biden in Washington, where they sealed an agreement formally ending the US “combat” mission in Iraq by the end of 2021, more than 18 years after US troops were sent to the country.

Under the agreement, however, US military forces will continue to operate in Iraq in what has been termed as an “advisory role.”

A joint Iraq-US statement issued after the meeting said the “security” relationship will be focused on “training, advising and intelligence-sharing.”

Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Biden said the US would continue to “train, to assist, to help and to deal with ISIS as it arises,” when the combat mission comes to an end.

The US currently has about 2,500 troops in Iraq. It is not known how many troops will stay in the country beyond 2021. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said “the numbers will be driven by what is needed for the mission over time.”

Shammari hailed Kadhimi’s latest remarks that Iraq no longer requires American combat troops.

The Nujaba official said the withdrawal must also include the US air force, which, he said, controls Iraq’s airspace and has been behind many of the American military’s crimes in the Arab state.

“The US military’s crimes in Iraq, especially the assassination of military commanders Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani [of Iran] and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were carried out by its air force,” Shammari said.

He said the US military offered no help to Iraq to prevent the rise of the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] initially, or to defeat it later on.

“American forces did not warn against the Daesh militant group’s threats until after it captured more than a third of the Iraqi soil. Additionally, the troops did not provide any assistance to confront the terrorists,” he said.

Shammari said certain Iraqi factions want to promote themselves though foreign support and thus seek a prolongation of the US military presence in the country.

“Who can guarantee that American forces in Iraq will not be reinforced under the title of advisors?” he asked.

Meanwhile, prominent Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr praised the agreement to end US combat mission in Iraq, saying, “We are waiting for a complete withdrawal of American troops.”

Sadr praised the role of Iraqi resistance fighters in speeding up the American pullout in a post published on his Twitter page, and wrote “The occupiers finally announced the start of the withdrawal of all their combat forces.”

“We are waiting, just as you are, for the complete pullout of the occupying forces,” he said in an address to resistance groups, while appreciating “efforts aimed at striking this agreement, especially those made by brother al-Kadhimi.”

He added, “We have already announced our conditions, and the military operations of resistance forces will stop completely once they are met. We must work to support Iraqi armed forces, including the army and law enforcement, so they can secure Iraqi territories and protect the country against terrorism, violence and proxies.”

Separately, Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halboosi hailed the agreement to end US combat mission in Iraq, and stated that his country is moving confidently towards the full realization of its capabilities.

He described the agreement as a diplomatic and political achievement in line with Iraq’s national interests, establishment of full sovereignty and the creation of a capable Iraq.

Anti-US sentiment has been growing in Iraq since the assassination in January 2020 of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units, along with the region’s legendary anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.

They were targeted along with their companions on January 3, 2020 in a drone strike authorized by former US president Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport.

Two days after the attack, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill that requires the government to end the presence of all foreign military forces led by the US.

“Kata’ib Sayyid Al-Shuhada”: US May Back a Military Ruler in Iraq

27 Jul 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

After many Iraqi stances refusing to legitimize the US presence in Iraq, the “Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada” Spokesman Kadhim al-Fartousi warns against a plan to destabilize the elections and appoint a US-backed military ruler in Iraq.

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Al-Fartousi: The Iraqi government made a grave mistake

In an interview for Al Mayadeen, the “Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada” Spokesman Kadhim al-Fartousi considered that “the negotiations between the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and his accompanying delegation with the US administration are aimed at legitimizing the US presence in Iraq.”

In response to the Biden-Kadhimi agreement to end the US military combat mission in Iraq by the end of the year, al-Fartousi said that “the Iraqi government made a grave mistake when it undertook the role of a mediator between the Resistance and the US.” 

“By doing so, the Iraqi government recognized the presence of US combat troops in Iraq,” he added.

Concerning the Iraqi parliamentary elections and Iraq’s political future, Al-Fartousi confirmed that “the circulated information suggests that the upcoming elections will not bring anything new to the political structure. As a result, a decision was made against them.”

Al-Fartousi warned that “a military figure, who accompanied the Iraqi delegation to the US, may be nominated as a military ruler,” he added.

The Secretary-General of “Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq” Qais al-Khazali said that the Iraqi Foreign Minister’s statement about the need for US forces was “unfortunate”, noting that “the statement is rejected and does not reflect the reality of the capabilities the Iraqi forces have attained.”

On Monday, the Deputy Secretary-General of Iraq’s “Al-Nujaba Islamic Resistance Movement” Nasr al-Shammari expressed to Al Mayadeen his distrust in the Americans.

“Iraq’s Al-Nujaba Islamic Resistance Movement rejects the US presence in Iraq,” al-Shammari emphasized.

Commenting on some Iraqi stances which call for the continuation of US presence in Iraq, Al-Shammari  said, “Whoever demands a continued US military presence in Iraq aims to gain internal power through the foreign powers.” 

“US forces in Iraq did not provide an early warning against ISIS invasion, nor did they assist in confronting it,” he added.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hussein Fuad had lately stressed that his country’s security forces are still in need of the training, armament, equipment, and capacity-building programs provided by the US.

On his part, Iraqi National Security Adviser Qassem al-Araji has recently announced that the US has been informed that “Iraq does not need any foreign combat force” on its soil.

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Al-Kadhimi: Iraq Doesn’t Need US Combat Troops

 July 25, 2021

Iraq’s Prime Minister said that his country no longer requires US combat troops to fight “ISIS”.

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Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi

Ahead of a planned trip to Washington, Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said that “the US and Iraq agreed in April that the US transition to a train-and-advise mission meant the US combat role would end.”

During an interview for AP, al-Kadhimi said that “there is no need for any foreign combat forces on Iraqi soil. “

“Iraq’s security forces and army are capable of defending the country without US-led coalition troops”, he added.

Al-Kadhimi went on to say that “the war against ISIS and the readiness of our forces require a special timetable, and this depends on the negotiations that we will conduct in Washington.”

Furthermore, al-Kadhimi said that “Iraq is not Afghanistan, and the US withdrawal from Iraq is not comparable to its withdrawal from Afghanistan,” emphasizing that “Iraq has succeeded in gaining the trust of neighboring countries, and accordingly, it is working toward the stability of the region.”

Iraqi Prime Minister headed an official delegation to the United States on Sunday, to discuss US-Iraqi relations.

Before departing for Washington, al-Kadhimi affirmed that his visit comes within the framework of Iraq’s efforts to consolidate a close relationship with the US, stressing that “the visit culminates long efforts of intensive work during the strategic dialogue sessions period, to organize the security relations between the two countries in a way that serves Iraq’s interest.”

US sources did not rule out the possibility of Washington maintaining its military presence in Iraq at the current level. The New York Times quoted sources in the US Defense Department and the White House as saying that Washington could maintain its military forces in Iraq by reclassifying their roles on paper.

It is notable that on Thursday, an Iraqi delegation headed by Iraqi Foreign Minister Hussein Fuad arrived in Washington to meet with US officials.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said during his meeting with his Iraqi counterpart that “we will discuss with the Iraqi delegation the fight against ISIS so that we can establish security and stability, which indicates close relations with Iraq.”

For his part, the Iraqi foreign minister said, “We are here to conduct dialogue and discussion with the American side,” hoping that the dialogue will “deepen the joint cooperation between Washington and Baghdad.”

Hussein added that “the premises of the dialogue are based on joint action, mutual respect, and cooperation in broad areas, including security, military, economic, energy, health, combating COVID-19, and many other fields.”


Iraqi Resistance Lambasts FM’s Remarks on Need for US Troops

 July 24, 2021

Blinken
Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department (February 4, 2021 / photo by Reuters).

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein’s recent statements about the need for US forces in the Arab country have drawn strong criticism from anti-terror resistance groups and political leaders.

Speaking at a joint press conference alongside his American counterpart Antony Blinken in Washington on Friday, the Iraqi foreign minister said that Baghdad still required Washington’s help, and called for maintaining bilateral security cooperation.

“We need to work with the International Coalition, led by the United States, against the terrorists of Daesh,” Hussein alleged. “We need cooperation in the field of intelligence. We need help with training. We need troops to help us in the air.”

The comments came at a time when American and Iraqi officials are finalizing a shift in the US military mission in Iraq to what they call “a purely advisory role” by the end of the year.

Citing a US official and two people familiar with the matter, Politico reported on Thursday that the change is planned to be announced on Monday after Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi meets with US President Joe Biden at the White House.

In response, the Iraqi Resistance Coordination Committee, which consists of representatives of anti-terror factions within the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Sha’abi, underlined the need for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the country.

In a statement carried by Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen TV channel, the committee warned that the meddling of foreign forces in Iraq’s security is meant to spy on the work of the country’s security agencies, adding that the mission of the US Air Force in Iraq is to defend the security of the Zionist regime and spy on the resistance.

“We stress the resistance’s conditions not to allow the presence of any foreign military personnel on Iraqi soil,” it added. “The pullout of foreign occupying forces from Iraq must be done completely from all Iraqi territory in order for the process to be real.”

The secretary general of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq movement, a subdivision of Hashd al-Sha’abi, said FM Hussein’s remarks are “very unfortunate and unacceptable” for all Iraqis who are proud of their military and security institutions.

Ammar Hakim, Iraqi Shia cleric and head of National Wisdom Movement (Hikma), expressed hope that the Iraqi delegation’s talks with the US would take into account the country’s interests through their professional conduct.

Source: Press TV

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PMU Faction Says US Responsible for Massacre of Iraqis in Daesh Bombing

July 21, 2021 

PMU Faction Says US Responsible for Massacre of Iraqis in Daesh Bombing

By Staff, Agencies

The leader of Iraq’s Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq resistance movement, which operates under the command of Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], has held the United States responsible for the loss of dozens of lives in a deadly Baghdad bombing claimed by the Daesh terror group, which he described as a creation of the US, “Israel” and their Gulf allies.

Qais al-Khazali said in a statement on Tuesday that political motives lie behind the bloody carnage in the bustling Woheilat market of Baghdad’s eastern neighborhood of Sadr City a day earlier.

He said the terror attack tooisraek place on the eve of Eid al-Adha [Feast of Sacrifice] and as Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi prepares to visit Washington within the next few days.

“The United States is seeking justification for its overstay in Iraq through the presence of Daesh [Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS’ / ‘ISIL’] terrorists. Everyone knows that Daesh was created by the US, the “Israeli” regime and certain Gulf Arab states, and their intelligence services are in control of the group,” Khazali said.

The Iraqi PMU leader said the United States is behind the upsurge in Wahhabi Daesh terror attacks, adding that Washington is responsible for the massacre of Iraqi people and its crimes will be responded appropriately.

He added that some individuals are complicit in aiding and abetting terrorist elements to carry out the market bombing.

A bomber killed at least 35 people and wounded dozens in a crowded market in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad on Monday night. More than 60 people were wounded.

The Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Hospital sources said the death toll could rise as some of the wounded are in critical condition.

The Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq resistance movement, in a separate statement, strongly criticized the performance of Kadhimi’s government and Iraqi security forces in response to the market blast in Baghdad.

“We call on the government to take immediate actions to stop criminal acts,” the group said.

The movement stressed that Kadhimi, who is also the commander-in-chief of Iraqi Armed Forces, in addition to security forces are primarily responsible for the occurrence of such bombings.

Asking for an inquiry into the failure to prevent the tragedy, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq said intelligence measures and pre-emptive operations should be taken to destroy terrorist lairs.

The anti-terror movement also stressed that the Popular Mobilization Units, better known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Shaabi, should be given a greater role to guarantee security and that their experiences should be used.

Backed by the PMU, Iraq put an end to Daesh’s territorial rule on its soil in late 2017, more than three years after the terror group emerged in the Arab country and captured swaths of land in its western and northern parts.

However, Daesh sleeper cells have continued to launch terror attacks against security forces and civilians from time to time.

The latest bombing, one of the largest since the victory against Daesh, signaled a rise in the strength of the remaining terrorists in Iraq, which are widely believed to have the support of the United States.

Asaib Ahl Al-Haq: Iraqi Resistance Decided To Expel US Forces

18/07/2021

Asaib Ahl Al-Haq: Iraqi Resistance Decided To Expel US Forces

By Staff, Agencies

Iraq’s Asaib Ahl al-Haq resistance movement said the Iraqi government is not entitled to keep any foreign forces in the country without the authorization of the country’s parliament, stressing that the American forces’ presence in Iraq runs counter to the Arab country’s constitution.

“The presence of American troops in Iraq is a clear violation of the Iraqi constitution,” Mahmoud al-Rubaie, spokesman of the resistance movement’s political bureau, told Iran’s Tasnim news agency.

“Furthermore, there is no agreement or approval for the presence of these forces in Iraq from the parliament of Iraq, as a country with a parliamentary system, and the government has no right to keep any foreign troops on the Iraqi soil without the consent of the parliament,” al-Rubaei said.

He pointed out that the incumbent Iraqi government has admitted, unlike previous governments, that the US forces are neither training nor advisory forces, but rather, they belong to the US Army’s Ground Force, who have committed a series of crimes in Iraq.

“Among the crimes committed by the American forces in Iraq, we can mention the biggest, which is the martyrdom of the commanders of victory,” al-Rubaei said.

He was making a reference to the US assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror commander, General Qassem Soleimani, along with deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, at Baghdad International Airport in January 2020, after which Iraq’s Parliament passed a law demanding the expulsion of all US-led forces.

The spokesman said that Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi, in his upcoming visit to Washington, would pursue the US military’s withdrawal from Iraq.

He also termed the strategic talks between Baghdad and Washington as “useless”, saying such recurring talks are aimed at prolonging the US occupation forces’ stay on the Iraqi soil, which contradicts the parliament’s law and the will of the Iraqi nation.

“We believe that the Americans will leave Iraq in the near future,” al-Rubaei continued, “because the Islamic Resistance has made its decision to confront them, and this decision was made after the failure of all efforts and the end of all chances given to the Americans and the current Iraqi government for diplomatic and political moves to rid Iraq of these forces.”

He expressed hopes that public pressure and efforts made by resistance groups and some political movements would drive the Iraqi government to publicly demand the withdrawal of US forces.

“We have no request but this from the government, despite the fact it has been long overdue,” the spokesman added.

The US, under both administrations of Donald Trump and Joe Biden, has repeatedly targeted the positions of Iraqi resistance forces, who played a significant role in defeating Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] terrorist group.

Biden’s first military strike abroad was against the PMU forces at the Iraqi-Syrian border back in February, only a month into his presidency. Biden also ordered airstrikes against the headquarters of the 14th Brigade of the PMU, also known as Hashd al-Shaabi, along Iraq and Syria’s common border last month.

Some 3,500 foreign troops, including 2,500 Americans, are still in Iraq, with the alleged aim of preventing the re-emergence of Daesh in the Arab country.

Observers, however, say Washington’s targeting of resistance forces is aimed at reviving Daesh and, in turn, prolonging its illegal occupation of Iraq under the pretext of fighting the terrorist group.

Such a US military presence also exists in Syria, where the Pentagon’s mission is not coordinated with the Damascus government, and while there is no clear timetable for withdrawal.

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Iraqi Resistance Against US Forces to Persist Until Full Withdrawal – Asaib Leader

Iraqi Resistance Against US Forces to Persist Until Full Withdrawal - Asaib Leader

By Staff, Agencies

Leader of Iraq’s anti-terror movement Asaib Ahl al-Haq Sheikh Qais Khazali said the armed resistance against American forces occupying Iraq will continue until they are fully removed from the Arab country.

“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,” 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 [IRG], and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [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 Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ 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.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Khazali warned of certain countries’ agendas in Iraq, especially that of the United Arab Emirates, saying the UAE is seeking to impact Iraq’s election results.

“Therefore, we do not accept the result of an election handled by the Emirates’ rulers,” Khazali said, adding that the UAE’s plot will not be implemented as long as national forces and the anti-terror PMU forces are present in Iraq.

Earlier in March, Khazali warned of a conspiracy against Iraq hatched by an Emirati security team which is reportedly in the country to influence the Iraqi intelligence service.

In his Thursday remarks, he also lauded the PMU forces for their sacrifices in the fight against terrorism.

Khazali also warned of secret attempts aimed at normalizing Iraq’s ties with the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime, saying that Iraq will not yield to such attempts.

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‘Truce with US occupiers is now over’: Iraq’s Sheikh al-Khazali

‘Truce with US occupiers is now over’: Iraq’s Sheikh al-Khazali

November 23, 2020

Description:

Secretary General of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq movement, Sheikh Qais al-Khazali, announced in an interview with Iraqi state television that the truce that ‘resistance factions’ provided US occupying forces weeks ago had now ended.

Al-Khazali explained that the truce was now over because US occupying forces did not meet the main condition of providing a timetable for their withdrawal from Iraq.

The other key condition was that the Iraqi government retake control of its airspace from the Americans, which also did not occur.

The following is a translation of an Al Mayadeen TV news report about the Al-Iraqiya TV interview with al-Khazali.

Source: Al Mayadeen TV (YouTube)

Date: November 20, 2020

(Important Note: Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing as little as $1/month here)

Transcript:

Reporter:

“The truce with Washington is over.”
An announcement made by Sheikh Qais al-Khazali, the Secretary General of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq movement, declaring that the (conditional) truce had come to an end as the two conditions of the truce had not been met.


Sheikh Qais al-Khazali, Secretary General of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq movement:

The conditions were not met, thus the truce is over. So we stress on the principle: our full right to militarily confront the foreign forces present (in our country). The implementation and tactics (of this confrontation) will depend on the developments and circumstances of the situation.

There were two conditions (for the truce), none of which were met…in exchange for the continuation of the truce. The first condition was a timetable for the (withdrawal) of the (occupying) forces, based on a reasonable timeframe. The second was the recontrol of (Iraqi) airspace by Iraq’s state and government.  

Reporter:

These were among a range of positions that Al-Khazali announced in his interview with the Al-Iraqiya TV, the most prominent of which was stressing on the principle of the full right to militarily confront (the occupying) foreign forces, in addition to stating that there is (precise) information regarding the presence of a spy within the three (branches) of government.

Between the American and Turkey military threats towards Iraq respectively, Al- Khazali described the threat by Ankara as the greater and more dangerous (of the two).

Al- Khazali:

The (looming) Turkish military threat will be graver, greater and more dangerous than the threat posed by the American military presence; as for the American military presence (in the coming days), it will definitely be contained.

Reporter:

Al- Khazali was keen to outline the reasons Mustafa Al-Kadhimi took over as (Iraq’s) new prime minister. He elaborated that (the common) interest finally necessitated the nomination of a secular, ‘Shia’ prime minister who was ‘non-Islamic’ (i.e. did not practice Islam in the realm of politics), and who also had no relations with Iran but had close relations with the US and the Gulf.

While waiting for the (official) results of the US elections, Al- Khazali deemed the announcement of Biden’s victory a restoration of (American) policy that functioned according to specific formulas reflecting a certain rationale. However, he is convinced that Washington does not wish well for Iraq and the region, because it prioritises the strategic security of the Israeli entity.

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Iraqi Resistance Forces Vow Not to Put Down Their Weapons, Say Unmet Truce is Over

Iraqi Resistance Forces Vow Not to Put Down Their Weapons, Say Unmet Truce is Over

By Staff, Agencies

A senior Iraqi leader vowed that the Islamic resistance forces will not lay down their arms as long as Iraq is under threat.

Sheikh Qais al-Khazali, leader of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq movement, said the Iraqi government is entitled to having a monopoly on carrying and using weapons in order to restore stability to the country.

However, he noted that the Iraqi resistance forces will continue carrying arms as long as the country is in danger.

In interview with the Al-Iraqiya TV, Khazali said resistance forces carry weapons for a specific goal and reason.

“Once that goal is achieved, they will lay down their weapons,” he noted.

He said he is opposed to rocket attacks against the US embassy, and so are many other groups, as it is a diplomatic site.

“Resistance groups are opposed to [the US] occupation; we do not approve of rocket attacks against diplomatic centers,” he added.

The heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, which hosts foreign diplomatic sites and government buildings including the US embassy, has been frequently targeted by rockets and explosives in the past few years.

Washington, each time, has been quick to point the finger at popular anti-terror groups, which are now integrated into Iraq’s armed forces.

The US has time and again targeted positions of Iraq’s anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], also known in Arabic as Hashd al-Shaabi, after blaming the major anti-terror force for the rocket attacks.

The popular group and other resistance forces have strongly denied any involvement in the strikes. They even agreed last month to stop military operations against US and foreign forces in Iraq to allow them to leave the Arab country.

Khazali, however, said the ceasefire announced by Islamic resistance groups has come to an end as two conditions for the truce have not been met.

“The two conditions included Iraq’s control over its airspace and setting up a timetable for the withdrawal of American occupying forces from Iraq,” he said in the Thursday interview.

“We will establish the principle of our full right to confront alien forces militarily,” he added.

Anti-American sentiments have been running high in Iraq since the US assassinated Iran’s anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, and deputy head of Iraq’s anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, in Baghdad on January 3.

Just days later, Iraqi lawmakers unanimously passed a bill mandating the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq.

The US has refused to withdraw its troops, with US President Donald Trump balking at the idea with the threat to seize Iraq’s oil money held in bank accounts in the United States.

Iraqi resistance groups have pledged to take up arms against US forces if Washington fails to comply with the parliamentary order.

The US announced on Tuesday that it would slash troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq to 2,500 in each country, their lowest levels in nearly 20 years of invasion.

Washington still has some 3,000 troops stationed across Iraq.

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RAIN OF ROCKETS HITS US FORCES IN IRAQ. ISRAELI-UAE PEACE DEAL CRUMBLES DAYS AFTER ITS ANNOUNCEMENT

South Front

As it was expected, the ‘historic’ UAE-Israeli peace deal did not contribute to the stability in the Middle East. Instead, the situation has been slowly, but steadily moving towards a larger confrontation in the region.

Immediately after the announcement of the US-sponsored peace deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that his country is not going to fulfill one of its key provisions – the suspension of the annexation of West Bank territories. The prime minister emphasized that the annexation plan was just delayed, but not suspended.

“There is no change to my plan to extend sovereignty, our sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, in full coordination with the United States,” Netanyahu said adding that “Israel will have comprehensive peace agreements with other Arab countries without returning to the 1967 borders.”

This unfortunate, but expected statement goes fully in the framework of the Israeli regional policy and contradicts position of the US-sponsored deal reached with the UAE. In particular, Crown Prince Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed emphasized that “it was agreed to stop Israel’s annexation of the Palestinian lands.”

The Israeli actions strengthened the already existing controversy over the deal and on August 15-16, the situation escalated in the Gaza Strip. According to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), Palestinian protesters with explosives tried to approach the security fence and then Palestinian forces launched at least 2 rockets at southern Israel. In its own turn, IDF aircraft conducted a series of airstrikes on what Tel Aviv described as Hamas targets.

If the Israeli leadership keeps its course on the annexation of the West Bank areas, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will expectedly escalate, and even possibly expand further. For example, in this scenario, an escalation could be expected in the area of the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights and on the Lebanese-Israeli contact line.

On August 14, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah already declared that the movement “will not remain silent on the crime of the bombing the Port of Beirut if it is proven that Israel is behind it.” According to Nasrallah, Hezbollah would wait for results of an investigation into the Beirut port explosion and if it turns out to be an act of sabotage by Israel then it would “pay an equal price”.

The August 4 blast in the port of Beirut is still surrounded by mystery and uncertainties, and many sources, including the top US leadership, still consider the possibility that the tragedy was caused by some kind of ‘attack’. In this event, the main suspect is Israel, which has always been interested in the destabilization of neighboring Arab states to secure own dominance in the region.

Tensions are also growing between the United States and Iran. On August 14, the Department of Justice announced that US forces have seized some 1.116m barrels of Iranian fuel aboard 4 ships headed for Venezuela. The seizure came amid increasing attacks on US forces and facilities from pro-Iranian and anti-US armed groups in Iraq.

On the evening of August 16, a rocket targeted the Green Zone of Iraq’s capital Baghdad, which houses government buildings and foreign missions. The strike led to no casualties. Just a few hours earlier, the pro-Iranian armed group Ashab al-Kahf released a video showing an improvised explosive device attack on a US equipment convoy in the Anbar area. The group claimed that the convoy was fully destroyed. On August 15, two rockets targeted the biggest US military base in Iraq – Camp Taji. The base is located north of Baghdad. On the same day, a convoy carrying logistical supplies for the U.S.-led coalition was targeted on the highway between Dhi Qar and Basrah in southern Iraq. The attack was conducted by another pro-Iranian group, Usbat al-Tha’ireen. Pro-US sources denied any casualties as a result of the attack. These were just the most recent in about two dozen various attacks on US-affiliated targets in Iraq during the past few weeks.

If the US and Iran continue the current confrontational course, it is expected that the number and intensity of attacks in Iraq will increase boosting the chances of an open confrontation between the US and Iranian-led forces.

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IRANIAN-BACKED FORCES CHALLENGE US MILITARY IN IRAQ WITH INCREASING ROCKET ATTACKS

South Front

In the recent weeks the US-led coalition in Iraq experienced a turn for the worse.

On the evening of August 10th, a military convoy carrying equipment for US forces near the Iraq-Kuwait border was reportedly targeted by an explosion. The Iraqi Shiite armed group, Ashab al-Kahf, issued a statement claiming that its forces had destroyed “equipment and vehicles belonging to the American enemy” in a bombing, targeting a border crossing south of the Iraqi city of Basra. The group also released a video purposely showing the attack.

Ashab al-Kahf is one of multiple anti-US resistance groups, which have surfaced in Iraq since early 2020 after the US assassination of Iran’s Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, the deputy chairman of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and several other prominent Iraqi officers leading the fight against ISIS in Iraq. All these new groups declare their goal to be forcing US troops to leave Iraq and conduct attacks on US military infrastructure and forces. This has already become an everyday reality for the US military.

Additionally to the August 10 attack, there were at least 4 more military incidents blamed by the US and mainstream media on these groups during the past weeks.

Early on August 12, 3 rockets fell near the US embassy building in the Baghdad Green Zone. No casualties were reported. On August 5, at least one rocket was launched at the US embassy area in Baghdad. The rocket was reportedly intercepted by the C-RAM [Counter-Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar] system which was recently deployed in the area by the U.S. military. On July 30, two rockets targeted the military section of the Baghdad International Airport, where US forces were deployed. On July 27, multiple rockets pounded the US-operated military base ‘Camp Taji’ north of Baghdad.

The structure and intensity of these attacks demonstrate that they are mostly aimed at pressuring the US military and political leadership into directing a troop withdrawal by creating a hostile environment rather than causing large-scale damage to US forces. If Washington decides to ignore them and accepts instead an increase in casualties in the region, such a resistance may continue for years without a breakthrough. Nevertheless, an especially successful rocket strike leading to significant casualties might well lead to an open military response from the United States. The most likely scenario would then be large-scale airstrikes on what Washington would call ‘Iranian and Iranian proxy targets’ in Iraq and eastern Syria. However, such an isolated even if powerful response would not be enough to change the situation strategically. Therefore, if the situation develops in the current direction, the low intensity conflict between the US and Iranian-led forces in Iraq would enter a lingering phase. The prospects for the stabilization of the economic and security situation in the country would be seriously in question.

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Iraqi Resistance Leader: US Presence in Iraq Protects ‘Israel’s’ Security

Iraqi Resistance Leader: US Presence in Iraq Protects ‘Israel’s’ Security

By Staff, Agencies

Secretary General of Iraqi resistance movement ‘Asaib Ahl al-Haq’ Sheikh Qais al-Khazaali stressed that the US presence in Iraq aims to protect the security of the “Israeli” entity.

Al-Khazaali’s remarks were made during a Monday address on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.

Questioning the intentions of the US military forces withdrawal, al-Khazaali said that “the American presence in Iraq is in order to protect the security of the ‘Israeli’ entity.”

He further stressed that “there is a popular and courageous public will that refuses to keep any foreign force on Iraqi soil.”

“We are not warlords, not bloodthirsty, but patriots, and we are looking for the dignity and sovereignty of the nation,” he added.

Al-Khazaali further voiced the Iraqi resistance’s readiness to pay lives and blood for dignity and sovereignty: “We are not warlords nor thirsty for blood, but patriots, and we are searching for the dignity and sovereignty of the homeland.”

“The United States, which is a superpower, could 

Statement of Leaders of Resistance Axis on Al-Quds Int’l Day

Statement of Leaders of Resistance Axis on Al-Quds Int’l Day

Translated by Staff, Live Coverage

Resistance Axis leaders and several figures are giving televised statements on the occasion of the al-Quds International Day organized by the International Committee to Revive al-Quds International Day in cooperation with Islamic Radios and Televisions Union [IRTVU].

The first statement was delivered by head of the Political Bureau of Hamas Movement, Ismail Haniyeh.

Hanyieh started his statement by shedding light on the situation in al-Quds saying it “is temporarily suffering three sieges,” warning “Israelis” of committing any stupid move in dealing with al-Aqsa Mosque.

Hanyieh then called for a comprehensive move in facing the so-called “deal of the century”, adding that “Al-Quds is suffering one of the most dangerous stages”.

Elsewhere in his statement, the Hamas leader said, “Iran has not hesitated to support the resistance in all its types”.

“We salute the Islamic Republic for its support for the Palestinian Cause and we salute Imam Khomeini, who launched the International al-Quds Day”, Haniyeh said.

The Hamas leader concluded his statement by reiterating that “al-Quds is the capital of the state of Palestine on all of its land, from its sea to its river”.

The second statement was delivered by al-Quds Bishop Atallah Hanna.

Hanna began his statement by insisting that “al-Quds must be liberated”.

He added, “We call for toppling all schemes and conspiracies against our Holy City in particular and the Palestinian Cause in general”.

Bishop Hanna further said, “Al-Quds in particular is a cause that directly concerns both the Christians and Muslims in this world”.

“We will not abandon Al-Quds, which was and will remain the capital of Palestine, despite all deals and schemes, all normalization and conspiracies,” the cleric added.

Moreover, Hanna addressed the Arabs saying, “The Zionists attack al-Quds on daily basis and every hour. The ‘Israelis’ seek to undermine its history and identity”.

The third statement was delivered by Head of the Sunni Endowment of Iraq Sheikh Abd al-Latif al-Humaym.

Sheikh al-Humaym asserted that “al-Quds is the key to liberation”, stressing that “unlike any other day, al-Quds Day is an eternal and historic one”.

“Terrorism is made by the Zionist,” Sheikh al-Humaym said, adding, “We confront the occupier with determination and stubbornness, because al-Quds will not return to us except by fighting, and we confirm that it will not be a memory of the past”.

He further declared, “Nobody thinks that al-Quds could be bought or sold, and no one thinks that the way to liberate it is close”.

Sheikh al-Humaym concluded his statement by emphasizing that “normalization with the Zionist entity is Haram [forbidden], because it resembles a betrayal of the nation’s principles by all standards”.    

The fourth statement was delivered by Bahrain’s top Shia cleric His Eminence Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim.

Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim in his statement said, “The International al-Quds Day is now more than necessary to preserve the nation and its unity,” and “The choice of the Bahraini people is resistance in face of the occupation”.

“Remembering Martyr Qassem Soleimani is remembering al-Aqsa Mosque, its sanctity and importance. He is a resemblance to the Palestinian Cause,” Ayatollah Qassim said.

However, the Bahraini cleric warned, “Seeking to establish an alliance with ‘Israel’ serves the enemies of the Arab nation”, explaining that “Today, we witness an escalation in media talk demanding normalization and submission to the American and Zionist will”.

The fifth statement was delivered by Secretary General of Asaib Ahl al-Haq Movement Sheikh Qais al-Khazali.

For his part, Sheikh Qais al-Khazali began his statement by hailing the Martyr Leaders, “The blood of martyr leaders will destroy the American and ‘Israeli’ interests”.

“This aggressive ‘Israeli’ entity is not only harmful to Palestine and the Palestinian people, but to the entire Arab and Islamic world,” al-Khazali declared.

He went on to say, “Imam Khomeini’s announcement of al-Quds Day is a renewal to the memory of this Cause and a reminder to the whole world about it”.

Sheikh al-Khazali remembered martyrs General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis saying that their assassination was “an ‘Israeli’ decision in particular”.

“Ending the US military presence in Iraq and the region is an imperative thing and a matter of time,” said the SG of Iraq’s Asaib Ahl al-Haq.

The Iraqi leader concluded his speech declaring, “Ending the ‘Israeli’occupation to our Arab lands after the ending of the American military presence in our region is an inevitable issue”.

The sixth statement was delivered by Head of Yemen’s Ansarullah Movement Sayyed Abdul Malik al-Houthi.

Sayyed al-Houthi began his statement by condemning “all forms of normalization with the ‘Israeli’ enemy, considering them as prohibited by Islam”.

According to Sayyed al-Houthi, “the main reason behind the assassination of martyr Soleimani is his role in confronting the ‘Israeli’ enemy and the American hegemony, as well as standing by the peoples of the region”.

Sayyed al-Houthi further called for the liberation of the Palestinian detainees stating, “We are ready to raise the level of the deal by adding another Saudi pilot and 5 other officers to previous ones we have captured”.

The seventh statement was delivered by the Secretary General of Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine Ziyad Nakhalah.

Al-Nakhalah said, “Imam Khomeini’s announcement of al-Quds Day is for rising the nation and achieving its unity in face of ‘Israel’”.

He explained that “Al-Quds International Day is a day to renew the pledge to al-Quds – that: we are coming!”

Al-Nakhalah slammed governments that prevent their people from reviving al-Quds Day saying that this acts is “under the pretext that it is an Iranian occasion”, stressing that to al-Quds would not be given up in favor of “Israel”.

In the conclusion of his statement, the SG of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine said, “They are talking about the rights of the Jews in Palestine and not talking about the rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine”.

Finally, the eighth statement was delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

Sayyed Nasrallah began his statement by hailing al-Quds day as “one of the blessed announcements of late Imam Khomeini”.

His Eminence said, “Today, due to faith, steadfastness, patience, honesty, sincerity and communication between countries and powers of the Axis of Resistance, we find ourselves closer to al-Quds and to its liberation”.

“Al-Quds Day expresses Iran’s firm commitment to the Palestinian Cause,” Hezbollah SG stated.

Sayyed Nasrallah explained that the image of people normalizing with the enemy “is not the true image of our nation, but rather it is of those who were concealing their stance; and today they have been exposed”.

Moreover, martyr Qassem Soleimani was not absent from Sayyed Nasrallah’s statement, as His Eminence said, “We miss this year the martyr of al-Quds, Hajj Qassem Soleimani, who was a major pillar of the resistance in the region”.

In the statement, the Secretary General assured Hezbollah’s commitment to the Palestinian Cause and explained, “The Zionist officials are terrified of the Axis of Resistance’s victories and anxious from the defeat of their and the US’ allies”

Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say, “We will continue in the path of martyr Soleimani and vow to achieve his aspirations. We will proceed in this path and be present on the fronts, as he taught us”.

Elsewhere in his statement, His Eminence said, “All the conspiracies to divide us have failed, and the meeting between us confirms that attempts to isolate Palestine also failed”.

Moreover, Sayyed Nasrallah made a pledge to martyr Hajj Soleimani as well as to all the martyrs and all the Mujahedeen, that “the day to liberate al-Quds is coming”.

“We assure the spirit of martyr Soleimani that we will complete his path and achieve his dreams and his most precious aspirations, regardless of psychological wars, sanctions, sieges and threats,” Hezbollah SG declared.

Sayyed Nasrallah also said, “We are paving the ground for the day – that will inevitably come – when we will all pray in al-Quds”.

As a conclusion, Sayyed Nasrallah said, “Today, I appeal to all the people of our nation to revive al-Quds Day in ways that are appropriate: be it in the media or in the cultural, political, social and artistic terms, with taking into consideration all required preventive measures amid Covid-19”.

“This year, al-Quds Day must be strongly present in our conscience, minds, hearts, emotions, will, culture, programs and actions”, Sayyed Nasrallah ended his statement.

US Preparing Ground in Iraq for ‘Deal of Century’

US Preparing Ground in Iraq for ‘Deal of Century’

By Staff, Tasnim

Iraqi resistance movement Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq warned that the US is paving the way for the implementation of the so-called ‘deal of the century’ in certain parts of Iraq, where it plots to settle displaced Palestinians.

In an interview with Tasnim News Agency, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq Spokesman Mahmoud al-Rabiee said the movement has irrefutable evidence that the American forces are in cahoots with terrorists in Iraq.

“The US is trying to turn certain parts of Iraq into gateways for implementing the deal of the century and the western al-Anbar ploy. According to this plan, the Palestinians mentioned in the deal of century will be relocated to the western regions of al-Anbar province.”

Pointing to the active presence of American forces in western al-Anbar and in areas near al-Tanf border crossing between Iraq and Syria, Rabiee said the US is also trying to transfer terrorists from Syria into Iraq.

The Americans are attempting to take control of those regions to make them safe for the implementation of the deal of the century, the spokesman added, deploring certain Iraqi parties for cooperating with the US to fulfill their personal interests.

Rabiee further emphasized that the US must respect the Iraqi Parliament’s decision to ratify a bill on the expulsion of foreign forces from his country. “They [the Americans] may delay withdrawing from Iraq and want to settle in areas that are a little far from the reach of the resistance forces, but it does not mean that resistance does not have access to them, and, if necessary, we will once again begin armed resistance.”

In early January, Iraq’s parliament passed a resolution telling the government to end the presence of foreign troops in Iraq and ensure they do not use its land, air, and waters for any reason.

The move came after the assassination of IRGC Quds Force Commander Lt. General Qassem Soleimani, the deputy head of Hashd al-Shaabi Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and a number of their comrades in a US airstrike in Baghdad.

The strike was carried out by American drones near Baghdad International Airport in the early hours of January 3.

U.S. Confirms Deployment Of Patriot Missiles In Iraq. Iran Prepares For Conflict In Straight Of Hormuz

South Front

On April 5, a series of large explosions rocked the village of al-Kastan in southwestern Idlib injuring 8 people, including 3 members of the so-called White Helmets. According to local sources, an ammunition depot located in the civilian area inside the city became the source of the explosion.

Al-Kastan is located near the town of Jisr al-Shughur, controlled by the Al-Qaeda-linked Turkistan Islamic Party. The exploded weapon depot likely belonged to the terrorist group or persons affiliated with it.

On the same day, the Turkish military established three new ‘observation posts’ around Jisr al-Shughur. They are located at the villages of Baksariya, al-Z’ainiyah and Furaykah. Idlib militants see Turkish positions as an important defense line that would allow containing possible Russia- and Iran-backed anti-terrorist operations in the area.

The 46th Regiment Base of the Syrian Army in western Aleppo came under Turkish artillery shelling. In response, Syrian forces struck position of Turkish-backed militants near Kafr Amma. The attack on the 46th Regiment Base became a third incident between the Turkish military and Syrian troops in less than a week. On April 3, two Syrian soldiers were killed in a Turkish artillery strike on their positions near Tell Abyad.

On April 4, Iraq’s largest resistance groups released a joint statement calling the US military “occupation forces” that “respect the language of force only”. In the statement, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, Kata’ib al-Imam Ali, Harakat al-Awfiy’a, Saraya Ashura, Harakat Jund al-Imam and Saraya al-Khurasani added that recent attacks on US forces and facilities in Iraq were only a “minor response” to the US aggression and the decision to carry out full-scale attacks was not taken then.

Two days earlier, on April 2, Usbat al-Tha’ireen, the armed group that claimed responsibility for rocket strikes on Camp Taji and other US positions, released a 3-minute long drone footage of the US embassy in Baghdad’s heavily-fortified Green Zone. This is the largest and most expensive embassy in the world, and is nearly as large as Vatican City.

The US Central Command officially confirmed deployment of Patriot air defense systems in Iraq. However, the US military announced that it will not provide “providing status updates as those systems come online” for security reasons. At least two Patriot batteries are now located in at the US military bases of Ayn al-Assad and Erbil. Two more Patriot batteries will reportedly be deployed soon.

As part of its plan to redeploy forces to larger, more fortified bases, the US evacuated its troops from the al-Taqaddum Air Base in the province of al-Anbar. It became the fourth US military facility abandoned in Iraq within the last few weeks. The previous ones were located in al-Qaim, Kirkuk and al-Qayyarah.

Iraqi sources say that the US actions demonstrate that Washington is preparing for a new round of military confrontation with Iran and its allies in the region. Recently, President Donald Trump stated that the US was expecting attacks by Iranian-led forces on US troops and facilities, claiming that Iran will ‘pay price’ for this. Following the statement, Iran deployed additional anti-ship missiles and multiple rocket launchers on the Qeshm Island in the Strait of Horumz.

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