Iraq’s Pro-Iran Hashed Orders Pullback From US Embassy

 

Supporters of Iraq’s Hashed al-Shaabi force began dismantling their sit-in outside the US embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday, but hardliners insisted they would stay put.

The Hashed, a powerful paramilitary network integrated into Iraq’s state security forces, ordered its backers to end their protest outside the US mission.

“You delivered your message,” it said in a statement.

Thousands had massed outside the embassy in anger at deadly weekend US air strikes on pro-Iran Hashed faction, Kataeb Hezbollah.

Iraq’s caretaker prime minister Adel Abdel Mahdi had called on the Hashed supporters to leave the embassy on Tuesday but most spent the night in dozens of tents pitched outside the perimeter wall.

On Wednesday, the Hashed called on supporters to regroup outside the high-security Green Zone where the mission is located.

An AFP photographer saw some protesters beginning to dismantle their tents.

But a leading Kataeb Hezbollah commander told AFP they would stay outside the embassy.

“We in Kataeb Hezbollah won’t withdraw even if the others do,” said the commander, who was among those outside.

Iraq’s Pro-Iran Hashed Orders Pullback From US Embassy

In this collage, American soldiers take their position as Iraq’s Hashed al-Shaabi military etwork attempt to break into the US embassy in the capital Baghdad. US EMBASSY IN IRAQ / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP

 

 

Iraq’s Hashed al-Shaabi military force Wednesday ordered its supporters to end their sit-in at the US embassy compound in Baghdad, but hardliners pledged to stay put outside the mission.

“You delivered your message,” the Hashed said in a statement addressed to the crowds encircling the embassy since Tuesday in outrage over deadly American airstrikes on a pro-Iran Hashed faction at the weekend.

It called on supporters to regroup outside the high-security Green Zone where the mission is located, but a leading commander in Kataeb Hezbollah, the group targeted in the US raids, told AFP they would “remain” at the embassy.