6 Jan, 2020
Iraq and Iran have a mutual interest in each other’s security, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis told RT in 2017. The Iraqi militia leader was among those killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad that targeted Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.
Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was the main target of Friday’s drone attack, but the Americans apparently didn’t care about collateral damage. Among the 10 victims was not just the Iranian general – who Washington conveniently branded a terrorist – but also top Iraqi security officials who are technically supposed to be US allies.
Al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces and one of the most important military figures in the country, was among those killed. Back in 2017, however, he gave an interview to RT in which he said that “the new [US] administration is trying to start a war in the region and this is madness.”
By trying to destabilize certain countries in the Middle East, Washington is plunging the whole region into chaos, as its security “is a unified system,” al-Muhandis told RT. “It’s in our interest that Iran remains safe, that Iraq remains safe.”
The commander pointed out that he and his associates used to fight against Saddam Hussein’s government – which was backed by the US at the time – only to resist the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 aimed at overthrowing Hussein.
We will oppose any kind of American aggression in the region.
The killing of Soleimani and al-Muhandis has not only triggered heated anti-American rallies across the region, but also prompted Iraqi MPs to vote for the removal of US and other foreign troops from the country. If the resolution is backed by the government, the presence of the American forces in Iraq will become illegal – though it is unclear what effect, if any, that might have in Washington.