Sat Jul 9, 2011
Iraq’s Sadr Movement says it would take up arms against US troops, if Washington fails to honor an agreement requiring it to withdraw all its forces from Iraq by December 31, 2011.
“We [the Sadr movement] will do our best … to refuse these troops … by protests and by military works,” says Salah al-Obeidi, a spokesman for the Sadr Movement, adding that “[the movement’s leader] Muqtada al-Sadr has further said that we will not leave our weapons if the Americans stay in Iraq after 2011.”
“If the American troops stay in Iraq … We will do our best to press or to put further number of our fighters to kill them,” he added.
Washington has reportedly offered Baghdad to keep up to 10,000 US forces in Iraq for at least another year. On Tuesday, the Iraqi parliamentarians petitioned the government against extending the US military presence in the country.
The appeal, signed by 100 lawmakers, warns Baghdad against the dire consequences of the continued deployment of the American troops beyond the December 31, 2011 deadline stipulated in the US-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement.
The US invaded Iraq in 2003 under the pretext of destroying alleged weapons of mass destruction (WMD) belonging to the executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s regime.
However, it was later found that the country did not possess any WMDs at the time and that the US and Britain, which led the invasion, were well-aware of the non-existence of such weapons in Iraq.
Over one million Iraqis have been killed as a result of the occupation, according to a study by the credible British polling group, Opinion Research Business.