Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis took to the streets of Baghdad Friday to demand the expulsion of US troops from Iraq.
A prominent anti-US Shia leader and Iranian-linked forces orchestrated the event, calling for a “million man march.” That didn’t happen, but the roughly 200,000-person crowd made clear their patience with the 5,000 US troops still in Iraq to defeat ISIS is running out.
Chants of “No, no, America” — and “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” — could be heard throughout the Friday protest. The crowd was littered with Iraq’s red, white, and black striped flag, underscoring the growing strength of Iraqi nationalism throughout the country.
Followers of Muqtada al-Sadr — the event’s organizer and a prominent anti-US Shia cleric — wore white robes or scarves, a sign that those people would die for their cause. White is the color of the shroud in which Muslims are buried.
“I came today to protest against the US being in our lands,” Mariam, 18, told Al Jazeera on Friday. ”We want to liberate our country from these chains of oppression. We have been suppressed and hurt by the US’s own interests in the region so we want them out of Iraq.”
Video from journalist @haider_husseini at Baghdad protests today: “It’s one of the largest protests I’ve seen in Iraq, and it’s not for religious reasons. Sadr’s followers said the US must leave Iraqi soil, and if the US doesn’t, they will respond.” Full story coming soon. pic.twitter.com/BI70qU8a48
— The Investigative Journal (@TIJournalism) January 24, 2020
Source » vox