ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Prominent Shia cleric in Iraq calls for jihad against Americans as foreign troops advising Iraqi soldier in the war against Islamic State (IS) are expected to to be deployed in Iraq.
Muqtada al-Sadir, the powerful Shia cleric, answering his followers' question on his website said this week, “The division among the Iraqis and the in-house conflict has made it easier for the enemy to invade and conquest us,” referring to Western troops as "enemy."
Last week, British Defense Minister announced that the UK will double the troop deployment to Iraq for training Peshmerga and Iraqi forces fighting IS extremists.
According to Michael Fallon, 500 British troops will be sent to Iraq to combat IS for an anticipated military operation to liberate the IS-held city of Mosul.
Sadr said that these troops will be considered invaders, not savers if they participate in any military operation inside Iraq.
Previously, Sadr had accused the United States of allowing IS to enter Iraq and had warned against any foreign military involvement in Iraq. “US or any other country deploys troops in the country will be considered aggressors.”
“The US wanted to be the liberator of people from aggression including the people of Iraq but what happened in Iraq proved the opposite,” Sadr said on his website.
Sadr also called upon his supporters last week to join Saraya al-Salam, the militia groups formed by Muqtada al-Sadr. “We have opened recruitment in support of Jihad and Jihadists,” he said in a statement on July 23.
Elsewhere, A'lla Abud, spokesperson of Saraya al-Salam, told local Iraqi media that “If the US insists on sending troops to Iraq, they will be targeted as we are thirsty for American blood.”
Editing by Ava Homa