'Truce with the US is over,' says leader of Iranian-backed militia in Iraq
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The leader of a notorious Iranian-backed militia in Iraq announced on Thursday during a televised interview that a previously-announced truce with US forces and interests stationed in the country was over and that they were again “legitimate” targets.
The remarks from Qais Khazali, who leads the Asaib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous) militia, come following a new wave of rocket attacks that targeted Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, where multiple Iraqi government offices and foreign embassies are located.
The attack, which killed a child and injured multiple other civilians, marked the end of a truce initiated by the same group in early October, according to Reuters.
“The truce with the US is over as its conditions have not been met,” said Khazali, who is on a US Treasury sanction list along with his brother for human rights abuse, particularly opening fire on peaceful Iraqi protesters.
The militia leader said that targeting foreign forces in the country is now “legitimate by all means.”
Washington's response to Tuesday night’s rocket attacks appears to be that it will act in close coordination with the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.
The renewed tension between US and the Iranian-backed militias comes as the acting US Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller announced on Tuesday that President Donald Trump had ordered a major cut in US forces in Afghanistan and a lesser cut in the level of US forces in Iraq.
Editing by John J. Catherine