Iraq’s Shi’ite Militias Urge Full US Withdrawal

Badr Brigade: US Troops a 'Magnet for Terrorists'

Reports emerged on Monday that US troops have begun a drawdown from Iraq, with officials citing the defeat of ISIS. This is being welcomed by Iraq’s Shi’ite militias, though they are urging a full withdrawal.

Iraqi militia Kataib Hezbollah

Multiple statements were issued by multiple, very influential militias to this effect, enough that Prime Minister Hayder Abadi defended keeping some US troops to “finish the job” of destroying ISIS.

The Badr Brigade, however, issued a statement saying any remaining troops would be a cause of instability, noting that they view US forces as “a magnet for terrorists.” Badr Brigade has multiple Iraqi MPs, and the Interior Ministry.

Kataib Hezbollah, a more militant militia, said they are serious about seeing US troops completely out of the country, and that they are willing to employ force of arms against them to make it happen.

The Pentagon has made clear they intend to keep US troops in Iraq more or less permanently, to preclude any other future ISIS arising. This is raising concern among militias that the US presence amounts to an occupation, a point the US will struggle to contest.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.