January 3, 2020 / 10:19 AM / 17 days ago

Iraqi militia commander Amiri calls for expelling foreign troops -state TV

BAGHDAD, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Iraqi militia commander Hadi al-Amiri called on all Iraqi factions to unite and expel foreign troops, hours after the U.S. killed Iranian Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in an air strike on Baghdad airport.

“We call on all national forces to unify their stance in order to expel foreign troops whose presence has become pointless in Iraq,” state TV quoted Amiri, who leads the powerful Iran-backed Badr Organisation militia and fought on Iran’s side in its 1980-1988 war with Iraq.

A Farsi speaker who spent more than two decades fighting Saddam Hussein from exile in Iran, Amiri also leads a political bloc representing militia groups that has the second-largest number of seats in parliament. (Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Maha El Dahan)

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