Senior Iraqi Sunni leader appreciates Iran for anti-terrorism assistance

February 12, 2020 - 22:46

TEHRAN -- A high-ranking religious leader of the Sunni community in Iraq has appreciated Iran's firm stance in the war on Daesh (ISIL) in his country, praising General Soleimani and the Iranian government for their role in defeating the terrorist group.

Khalid al Mala made the remarks as he was addressing a ceremony marking the 40th day since General Qassem Soleimani was martyred in a U.S. drone strike on Baghdad’s international airport on January 3.

According to the New York Times, the top Iranian general was killed when an American MQ-9 Reaper drone fired missiles into a convoy that was leaving the airport.

The U.S. airstrike also martyred Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU or Hashd Al Shaabi) and some other forces of the PMU along with their guests.

In a statement, the PMU announced the Israeli regime and the U.S. were behind this act of terror.

According to the Pentagon, General Soleimani was killed upon direct order by President Donald Trump.

Elsewhere in his remarks, al Mala voiced his full support for the Iraqi parliament's stance in adopting a legislation to expel the U.S. troops from the country.

"Revenge for our martyr commanders can be materialized via expelling the entire alien forces from Iraq," the religious leader remarked.

Two days after the terrorist attack by the U.S., in an extraordinary session, the Iraqi parliament voted for a resolution requiring the government to order the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

“There is no need for the presence of American forces after defeating Daesh,” said Ammar al-Shibli, a lawmaker and member of the parliamentary legal committee.

“We have our own armed forces which are capable of protecting the country,” he said.

Around 5,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq, most of them in an advisory capacity.

During a massive funeral procession for General Soleimani and al-Muhandis in Baghdad, al-Kadhimiya, Karbala and Najaf, hundreds of thousands of angry Iraqi mourners carried placards demanding an immediate expulsion of “U.S. troops” from their country.


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