Iraqi militias halt anti-US attacks
An array of Iran-backed Iraqi militia groups have suspended rocket attacks on U.S. forces on condition that Iraq’s government present a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops, one of the groups said on Sunday. A spokesman for Kataib Hezbollah, one of the most powerful Iran-backed militia groups in Iraq, said the groups were presenting no set deadline, but that if U.S. troops “insisted on staying” they would unleash much more violent attacks.
Washington, which is slowly reducing its 5,000 troops in Iraq, threatened last month to shut its embassy unless the Iraqi government reins in Iranaligned militias that have attacked U.S. interests with rockets and roadside bombs. The US warning caused alarm in Iraq, where it was seen as a step towards air strikes, potentially turning Iraq into a battleground in a proxy war between the United States and Iran. A broad array of politicians called on the militia to stop provoking the Americans. “The factions have presented a conditional ceasefire,” Kataib Hezbollah spokesman Mohammed Mohi said. “It includes all factions of the (anti-US) resistance, including those who have been targeting US forces.”