The leader of Iraqi political party and militant group Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous), Qais Khazali, has warned the US forces deployed in Iraq that the attacks against them by the paramilitary group will continue until they withdraw from the country's soil.
"There is no room for American military bases, neither in al-Assad nor in al-Harir. This is the decision and promise of the men of resistance", Qais Khazali said on 1 April.
The statement by the leader of Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq comes as the remaining American forces in Iraq continue to face regular airstrikes carried out by local militant groups demanding their departure. Some of these strikes have resulted in injuries and even deaths among American contractors and servicemen. Washington claims these attacks are carried out by groups purportedly backed by Iran.
The US has so far stopped short of announcing the complete withdrawal of its forces, with current President Joe Biden ordering a complete review of America's contingents deployed abroad and the changes to their volumes made under the Trump administration. All redeployments and withdrawals of US forces have been halted for the duration of the review.
At the same time, more than a year ago the Iraqi parliament passed a non-binding motion calling for the complete expulsion of all foreign troops deployed in the country. The motion was passed with little opposition following the US airstrike at the Baghdad International Airport on 2 January that killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, who was on a secret diplomatic mission to the country. The attack, which was not coordinated with Baghdad, also killed several prominent members of the Popular Mobilisation Forces – a large Iraqi militant group that fought off Daesh* insurgents and was eventually incorporated into the country's security forces.
*Daesh is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia