IRAQ: Annihilation of ISIS Possible Only After US Complete Pull-Out

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BAGHDAD – A senior official of Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraqi Popular Forces) said that the country’s security forces will be able to fully annihilate the ISIS cells after the US army retreats from the Arab state.

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“The US withdrawal from Iraq will trigger highly great achievements to the security situation in Iraq,” Ali Al-Hosseini, one of Hashd al-Shaabi’s senior commanders, told the Arabic-language Baghdad al-Youm news website on Monday.

He blamed the US build-up in Iraq and its support for the terrorist groups for the prolonged life of ISIL in the country, and said, “Therefore, the remnants of the ISIL terrorists will be annihilated by the withdrawal of the last US military man.”

Al-Hosseini, meantime, warned that Washington might resort to its old tricks in 2014 and strengthen the ISIL cells across Iraq after its withdrawal in a bid to distort general security.

Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), better known by their Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, in a statement on Saturday blasted the US forces based in their country as “occupiers”, pledging to bring the occupation of the Arab country to an end. Hashd al-Sha’abi groups said from now on the US troops in the Arab country will be dealt with as “occupation forces”, PressTV reported.

The statement cited the US refusal to withdraw its forces from Iraq and its “continued aggression” against the country as the reasons for their decision.

“You have proven to everyone that you are occupation forces and that you only respect the language of force; on these bases you will be dealt with as occupiers,” the statement reads.

It also said that the Iraqi resistance forces’ military operations are a basic response to the US aggression.

“Be aware that all operations which have been carried out against you so far were only a minor response to your aggressions as the decision to carry out operations [against US forces] had not been taken back then,” it added.

They stressed that the recent US threats to target the resistance forces are aimed at covering up their own failures. The statement was signed by 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.

In late March, the other PMU group Kata’ib Hezbollah blew the lid off a plot by the US military to carry out massive aerial operations — backed by ground troops – against bases of the elite anti-terror force, which is currently busy helping the government in the fight against a new coronavirus pandemic.

The PMU statement was concluded with a message to the Iraqi people, in which the resistance groups vowed that they will not let the US occupy the country and rob its resources. The statement comes in line with earlier calls by the Iraqi Parliament and military for all foreign troops to leave the Arab country as soon as possible.

Iraqi lawmakers unanimously approved a bill on January 5, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country following the assassination of General Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the PMU, and their companions in a US airstrike near Baghdad International Airport two days prior.

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