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Iraq’s Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr calls for ‘million man’ anti-US march


Iraq’s Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr calls for ‘million man’ anti-US march

sadr anti us protest
Photo: Karim Kadim/AP

Iraqi Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr has called for a “million man march” today against the presence of US troops in the country.

Al-Sadr’s move comes after Iraq’s parliament passed a resolution on January 5, two days following the US strike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, calling for the expulsion of all foreign troops from the country.

If hundreds or thousands of Iraqis answer al-Sadr’s call, anticipate chaos on the streets of Baghdad. Sectarian clashes between al-Sadr’s Shia backers and Sunni anti-government protesters are likely.

Tensions between the Iraqi government and Washington will escalate if Iraq’s parliament passes a resolution establishing a concrete timeline for the expulsion of US troops. In the unlikely event that this occurs and US troops subsequently remain in the country, a serious diplomatic incident or military exchanges between the government or militias and the US presence is possible.

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Moreover, if this rift opens and Tehran responds by doubling down on its backing of the Iraqi government, regional tensions between Washington and Tehran could flare again and lead to another military exchange.

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