Iraqi Militia Leaders Met Over US Aggression

January 13 meeting focused on how to expel US

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi may have looked to back away from a parliamentary vote to expel US troops, saying he’s leaving it up to the next government. He’s not the end of the matter though. With tensions still high, Iraq’s Shi’ite militias met on January 13 to discuss recent US aggression, and a strategy on coordinated efforts to expel the US.

The meeting was reportedly called by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, the leader of Iraq’s largest parliamentary bloc. Mohammed Mohie, a spokesman for Kataib Hezbollah, said that the groups are preparing a strategy because “the Americans may stay in Iraq and challenge us.”

That seems virtually certain. Despite Iraq’s parliament voting 170-0 to expel the US, US officials have said they have no intention of leaving, and have threatened to punish Iraq for even asking.

Earlier in the month, the US attacked and assassinated a top Iranian general at the Baghdad International Airport. They also killed some members of the Shi’ite militia leadership connected to the Iraqi government.

Whether the US intention is to keep threatening Iraq and keep not leaving, or to continue to escalate the fight against the militias remains to be seen. Either way, the militias are clearly talking about coordinating their plans if it comes to a fight.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.