MADRID, 10 Jan. –
The main Shiite cleric in Iraq, Ayatollah Ali al Sistani, on Friday condemned the recent air attacks by the United States and Iran in the territory and warned that the continuation of the political crisis in the country could lead to a greater foreign “interference”.
“What has taken place during the last days of serious attacks and repeated violations of Iraqi sovereignty, with the clear weakness of the authorities responsible for protecting the country and its people, is part of the repercussions of the current crisis,” he said. .
Thus, he has argued that “the increase in political and security problems will lead to more interference in the affairs of the country,” so he has asked the parties to reach an agreement for a “vision of the future” for Iraq.
Al Sistani has also stressed that this vision should allow “Iraq to be governed by its people and that foreigners do not have a role in controlling their destiny,” according to the Iraqi news agency NINA.
In this regard, he has appealed to “national responsibility” to achieve a solution to the crisis that “responds to the demands of reform” made by the protesters, as collected by the local television network Al Sumaria.
Iraq was plunged into protests in October that were severely repressed and resulted in more than 450 deaths and led to the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who continues to act in the absence of agreement on his successor.
Tensions have increased dramatically in the country and in the region in the wake of the death last week of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, head of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards, in a US bombing in Baghdad.
Soleimani died along with the 'number two' of the Popular Mobilization Forces (FMP) – a coalition of Iraqi pro-government militias supported by Tehran -, Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, and several Iraqi militiamen, after which Tehran promised to take revenge for the attack.
In response, Iran attacked two military bases located in Iraq on Wednesday in which US soldiers are deployed, in which Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, described Washington as a “slap”.
Trump said hours later that the attacks have ended without casualties, although a person in charge of the Revolutionary Guards of Iran said that they have killed at least 80 US military.
For their part, the Iraqi authorities strongly criticized the bombing of Soleimani and the FMP and stressed that this coalition of militias was an important element in the fight against the jihadist group Islamic State.
Thus, the Iraqi Parliament approved on Sunday a motion that requires the expulsion of US troops from the country and obliges the Government to commit to making public any agreement reached in the future for the presence of foreign military advisers and trainers.
During the day on Monday, the Iraqi Executive limited the activities of the international coalition and reduced them to training and advisory work, prohibiting their movements by land and air. Therefore, the coalition against the Islamic State announced on Thursday a “pause” of its military operations in Iraq.