By Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

Iraq’s influential cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, has released a statement saying that if US troops do not leave the country, Iraq will turn into a new Vietnam for Washington.

Sadr, who leads the largest bloc in parliament, said in a letter to the assembly that a parliamentary resolution calling on the government to end foreign troop presence did not go far enough.

“I consider this a weak response insufficient against American violation of Iraqi sovereignty and regional escalation,” the letter read.

Sadr said a security agreement with the United States should be cancelled immediately, the US embassy should be closed down, US troops must be expelled in a humiliating manner, and communication with the US government should be criminalized.

“Finally, I call specifically on the Iraqi resistance groups and the groups outside Iraq more generally to meet immediately and announce the formation of the International Resistance Legions,” he said.

The US military has announced preparation for “movement out of Iraq,” after the country’s parliament voted to oust foreign troops.

Brigadier General William Seely, who oversees US Task Force Iraq, sent a letter to the head of Iraq’s joint operations command on Monday, less than week after the US assassinated Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani, various news agencies reported.

“In order to conduct this task, Coalition Forces are required to take certain measures to ensure that the movement out of Iraq is conducted in a safe and efficient manner,” read the letter.

It added that the forces would “be repositioning forces over the course of the coming days and weeks to prepare for onward movement.”

I don’t for one second trust this statement. Look Washington’s “withdrawal” from Syria! They’re still there and are stealing Syria’s oil now. I wont believe it until I see it.

In a related development Kata’eb Hezbollah has issued another threat to the American President Donald Trump after he said he would not withdraw troops from Iraq until Baghdad paid back the U.S.

According to the statement from Kata’eb Hezbollah, which is a faction inside the Popular Mobilization Units (Hashd Al-Shaabi), if the U.S. forces remain inside Iraq, they will turn the American bases into rubble.

“The decision to end the foreign military presence is a great victory in the march to liberate Iraq from the enemies,” Kata’eb Hezbollah said.

“What was achieved from a great victory is a first step in the march to liberate and purify Iraq from the abomination of enemies, and it must be followed by other important steps, including: closing the American embassy of evil, supporting what was stated in the contents of Sayyed Muqtada Al-Sadr’s message, and adopting these steps in the priorities of political and national power for the next stage,” they added.

Finally I’d like to share a speech during a mass that was held in the evangelical church of Aleppo, Syria to honor the martyrdom of General Soleimani who had an essential role in the liberation battle of Aleppo against US-backed terrorists.

UPDATE1: BREAKING: @EsperDoD says memo on withdrawal is not accurate “there’s been no decision whatsoever to leave Iraq.”

UPDATE2: The authenticity of the letter, which was addressed to the Iraqi defense ministry’s Combined Joint Operations Baghdad, was confirmed to Reuters independently by an Iraqi military source.
“That letter is a draft, it was a mistake, it should not have been released,” Seely told reporters. U.S. Army public relations officials said earlier it was real, but insisted that the U.S. will no leave the Arab nation.
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