Iraqi influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has praised the Iraqi nation for heeding to his call and gathering on the streets of Baghdad on Friday to protest the United States military presence, describing the huge turnout as a matter for pride.
“Oh Iraqis, you melted our hearts. You brought us glory and raised our hopes. You angered our enemy. So, God recorded a good deed for you all. May God reward you with the best reward for Iraq and its nation,” Muqtada Sadr wrote in a post published on his official Twitter page.
‘Iraq mass protest a step towards expulsion of US forces’
Separately, Yemeni Information Minister Dhaifallah al-Shami hailed the million-man demonstration against US military presence in Iraq, describing it as a historical event and a step towards expulsion of American troops.
“The massive demonstration in Iraq marks a historical event and a step in the right direction to expel US forces from the region,” Shami wrote in a post published on his official Twitter page.
He added, “Yemen has proved that mass demonstrations are capable of bringing down US hegemony, and that the people of the region are able to end the US presence.”
US forces advised to pack up and leave Iraq immediately
Additionally, the leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq has lauded the mass turnout in the anti-US demonstration in Baghdad, stating that the million-strong march to demand the withdrawal of US troops from the country brought glory to Arabs and Muslims worldwide.
Sheikh Humam Hamoudi highlighted that Iraqis do not accept by means the violation of their sovereignty, calling on American soldiers to pack their bags and leave right away.
Ameri: US administration must heed Iraqis’ call
Moreover, the leader of the Fatah (Conquest) Alliance at the Iraqi parliament, Hadi al-Ameri, said the Iraqi people sent out a clear message to US statesmen by their mass turnout in Friday’s demonstration.
“The Iraqi people demanded the departure of American forces from Iraq. The US administration must therefore respect it,” he wrote in a statement on Friday.
He added, “We thank all strata of the Iraqi society, who participated in the million-strong demonstration. We express gratitude to His Eminence Muqtada al-Sadr for his call to the demonstration. We also thank all national forces that reject foreign military presence in Iraq. We have been able and are able to achieve security and preserve sovereignty throughout Iraq.”
On January 5, Iraqi lawmakers unanimously approved a bill demanding the withdrawal.
Later on January 9, Iraq’s caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi called on the United States to dispatch a delegation to Baghdad tasked with formulating a mechanism for the move.
According to a statement released by the Iraqi premier’s office, Abdul-Mahdi “requested that delegates be sent to Iraq to set the mechanisms to implement the parliament’s decision for the secure withdrawal of (foreign) forces from Iraq” in a phone call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The prime minister said Iraq rejects violation of its sovereignty, particularly the US military’s violation of Iraqi airspace in the January 3 vicious airstrike that assassinated Iran’s Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and the deputy head of the PMU, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, along with their companions.
The US State Department bluntly rejected the request the following day.