TEHRAN – Hadi al-Amiri, the head of Fatah Alliance in the Iraqi parliament, has praised the role Iran played in support of Iraq during the country’s fight against the Daesh terrorist group.
Speaking at a ceremony held in the holy city of Najaf on Saturday to mark the first anniversary of the U.S. assassination of General Qassem Soleimani and his Iraqi trench mate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, al-Amiri said Iran was the only country that supported Iraq in the difficult times of anti-Daesh fight.
“During the difficult situation in Iraq, it was only the Islamic Republic of Iran that stood by us and supported our nation in the fight against the Daesh terrorist group,” the Iraqi politician was quoted as saying on Saturday by Press TV. “We thank Martyr Qassem Soleimani for his role in supporting the Iraqi nation in difficulties and hardships.”
General Soleimani and al-Mohandis were assassinated in an American drone strike on January 3, 2020, along with their entourage, near Baghdad’s international airport. The strike was ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump, a reckless move that brought Iran and the United States close to an all-out war as General Soleimani was an influential figure in Iran and beyond. In response, Iran showered a U.S. airbase in western Iran with missiles, causing brain injury among dozens of American servicemen.
General Soleimani earned praise from all Iraqis for his role in helping them thwart Daesh’s march toward Baghdad in 2014 when the terrorist group unleashed its campaign of terror in Iraq and occupied large swathes of the country’s western territories. At that time, the Iraqi government asked Iran for help and within a very short period, Iran provided the Iraqis whatever they needed to repel Daesh attacks. Iraqi leaders have said on various occasions that Baghdad would have been occupied by Daesh if Iran had not rushed to help them.
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, that during whose tenure Daesh occupied large territories of Iraq, has praised Iran for opening its arms depots to the Iraqis during the war against Daesh.
“Daesh has come [to Iraq] because they [Americans] stopped all types of military support to Iraq and undercut the foundation of the Iraqi army,” the former prime minister said in June last year.
“Washington told the Iraqi delegation as long as al-Maliki is in power, they will not give weapons to Baghdad to fight Daesh. This is all while Iran and Russia have opened their arms depots to Baghdad in support of the Iraqi army and the Popular Mobilization Forces,” al-Maliki stated.
Al-Amiri also pointed to the role of the fatwa (religious decree) issued by the prominent Iraqi cleric Grand Ayatollah Seyed Ali al-Sistani.
“The Daesh sedition had international backing, but the fatwa issued by the Iraqi religious authority thwarted and defeated it,” the Iraqi politician pointed out.
Al-Amiri also called for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, saying that Iraq would be stable only if the U.S. pulls out its troops.
“Our first demand is the pullout of American troops and the handover of Iraq’s affairs to the Iraqis because they are able to provide security and build their country by themselves,” he noted.
Following the assassination of General Soleimani and al-Mohandis, the Iraqi Parliament passed a law requiring the country’s government to pursue the issue of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. The U.S. has thousands of troops stationed in Iraq under the pretext of fighting terrorism. Iraq’s politicians and people have long been calling on the U.S. to withdraw its forces but the U.S. keeps insisting on its military presence in Iraq.
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