Iraq’s Sadr Willing to Work With Rivals to Oust US Troops

Grand Ayatollah Sistani Condemns US Attacks

Iraq is seeing mounting anger across the spectrum against the US over Sunday’s US airstrikes against militia bases. Key Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, a long-time critic of foreign entanglements, is offering to work with his political rivals to see the US military ousted from the country.

Sadr said he wants to work politically with the other Shi’ite blocs, the ones more closely aligned with the militias, to find a legal means to expel the US from the country. He added that he’s also be willing to “take other actions” to see the US removed.

Political unity seems like a safe bet on this issue, with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the top religious leader in Iraq, condemning the US strikes, and saying illegality on some sides must not be used as a justification to violate Iraqi sovereignty.

A number of MPs have talked of getting rid of the US military presence in Iraq since the end of the ISIS War. While the Pentagon has indicated they envision staying, it’s not clear they’re going to be able to unilaterally attack Iraqi bases and stay with the permission of the Iraqi government.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.