The militiamen chanted “the death of the United States” as they assembled near the Green Zone of Baghdad, where the U.S. Embassy is located.
Thousands of members of the Iraqi Hashd al-Shabi paramilitary coalition gathered in Baghdad on Tuesday to mourn the comrades who were killed in the US airstrike on the Syrian border.
This U.S. raid Earlier on Monday, the pro-Iranian militia and the US-led coalition exchanged fire in eastern Syria and feared that the US-Iran situation would escalate as efforts to restore Tehran’s 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers faltered.
They chanted “death to the United States” and “revenge for the martyrs”, and gathered in Liberty Square near the capital’s highly secure green zone-where the US Embassy is located.
Following a series of recent incursions by armed groups backed by Washington’s arch-enemy, Tehran, a large number of security forces have been deployed to block the Green Zone.
Sayid al-Shuhada militia commander Ahmed Maksusi, who has vowed to “open war” with the U.S. military, said it was time for the Americans to leave.
“Since the Parliament passed a resolution, the presence of foreign troops in the country is illegal,” al-Maqsusi said. “They have been here since 2014, they have done nothing to the Iraqis, they have just carried out sabotage.”
Several senior commanders of Hashd attended the symbolic funeral, including its top commander Faleh al-Fayyadh and Hadi al-Ameri, the head of one of its main factions, the Badr organization.
The mourner was accompanied by a vehicle full of gunmen, dressed in black, and holding a sign: “The attack on Hashid must speed up the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.”
Others carried pictures of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and Hashd deputy commander Abu Mahdi Mohandis Killed by U.S. drones Last year there was a strike near Baghdad Airport.
“The resistance rifles and drones will now move. The time has come to avenge the deaths of our heroes (including Qassim Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Mohandis),” said a fighter Heydar Caral said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitors said that seven combatants were killed and at least six were injured in attacks on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border.
Most of Hashd’s commanders are supported by Tehran and have become Baghdad’s main power brokers. The organization stated that four of its fighters were killed in the Qaim area near the border.
The organization stated that the militias were stationed there to prevent armed groups from infiltrating Iraq, and denied that they were involved in any attacks on American interests or personnel. They warned that they “have a legal right to respond…and hold the perpetrators accountable on Iraqi territory.”
“Attacked by multiple rockets”
The Pentagon stated that the attack hit two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq at combat and weapons storage facilities, both close to the common border, and militias used drones to attack US interests in Iraq.
Coalition spokesperson Wayne Marotto said on Twitter that the U.S. forces were subsequently “struck by multiple rockets” in eastern Syria, but there were no casualties. The personnel “fired against the rocket launch positions.” .
The US military in Iraq deployed 2,500 American soldiers as part of the international coalition against the armed group Islamic State (ISIS) and has been the target of more than 40 attacks this year.
Monday’s attack was the second deadly attack on a pro-Iranian target since US President Joe Biden took office.
Secretary of State Anthony Brinken announced that the U.S. has sent a “strong message” to the airstrikes against pro-Iranian fighters in Iraq and Syria, that is, not to continue attacking U.S. troops in Iraq.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Kadimi condemn The attack was an “unacceptable violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and Iraq’s national security” and warned against escalation.
Iraqi national security adviser Qassem al-Araji stated that al-Kadhimi will discuss the existence of the US military with US President Joe Biden.
“The Iraqi government’s position is clear. The prime minister condemns the attack, which is an infringement of national sovereignty. The prime minister is planning to visit Washington to set a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops,” he said.