Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba warns of US ‘reluctance’ to withdraw troops from Iraq

Shafaq News/Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba (HaN), a prominent armed faction in Iraq, expressed concern on Saturday over the Iraqi government’s possible “concession” to the withdrawal of US troops, a move they said would be opposed by several factions could encounter.

Harakat al-Nujaba (English: Movement of the Party of God’s Noble Ones) is an Iranian-backed, US-designated military force founded in 2013 by Akram al-Kaabi.

On January 4, 2024, Washington killed at least two senior HaN commanders in Baghdad, saying they were involved in “terrorist attacks on US forces.” Abu Taqwa al-Saeedi was among those killed.

The faction is a prominent part of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, along with the Hezbollah Brigades. It has strong ties to regional resistance factions, mainly the Lebanese Hezbollah.

Firas Al-Yasser, a member of the HaN political bureau, told Shafaq News Agency that Prime Minister Al-Sudani is the one responsible for coordinating with the relevant party to follow up on this file, adding: “Al -Sudani promised the Iraqi factions, parliament and the public to quickly resolve the issue of the withdrawal of US forces.”

Al-Yasser stressed the need for “establishing a clear timetable for the withdrawal of US forces”, highlighting the Iraqi factions’ belief that the “US intends to maintain its presence due to strategic and economic interests in Iraq .”

“Pressure from Iraqi factions could, among other things, force the United States to withdraw its troops. However, if the government succumbs to pressure and signals a withdrawal, the factions will respond in accordance with the decisions of their leadership and the prevailing circumstances.”

It is noteworthy that the presence of foreign troops in Iraq has become a major issue, gaining importance following the targeted killing of Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani and the leader of an Iranian-backed leader, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, during a US drone strike. in Baghdad in January 2020, when the Iraqi parliament passed a non-binding resolution calling on the government to end the presence of all foreign troops.

In recent months, continued US airstrikes on Iranian-backed armed groups in Iraq have prompted Baghdad to consider ending the US-led coalition’s mission.

Currently, 2,500 troops are deployed at the government’s request to “advise, assist and enable” Iraqi security forces.

Last January, a joint Higher Military Commission (HMC) between Iraq and the US-led coalition took place to review the Global Coalition’s mission following Iraq’s victory over ISIS.

To date, the Global Coalition and Iraq’s military delegations have held several meetings within HMC, but results have yet to be achieved in this regard.