BAGHDAD (Dispatches) – The Iraqi resistance groups targeted by U.S. sanctions say the bans will fail to weaken their resolve to protect the homeland and restore its sovereignty.
The U.S. State Department imposed a new round of sanctions on resistance groups in Iraq, as well as in Syria and Lebanon.
The department’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation said in a notice issued Monday the restrictive measures target Iraq’s Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq and Kata’ib Hezbollah, which are both subdivisions of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Sha’abi, along with the Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement.
Both groups reacted on Tuesday, saying they would remain impervious to the U.S. sanctions.
Asa’ib politburo spokesman Mahmoud al-Rubaie, talking to Lebanon’s al-Ahed news website, described the U.S. restrictive measures against resistance groups as “a battle between right and wrong,” saying they represent the extent of the failure that successive U.S. administrations have suffered in the Middle East.
He added the group “expects anything from them (the Americans),” stressing, “Whatever they do will not affect us because we are strong.”
Rubaie stressed Washington “is concerned about the political presence of the resistance and is therefore seeking a way to escape ... Of course, the [Iraqi] government is also weak and cannot counter U.S. pressure.”
Meanwhile, Ahmad al-Mousavi, a member of Asa’ib’s political bureau said that Washington was trying to drive the resistance out of the Iraqi political equation because it had brought about the failure of U.S. schemes in the Arab country.
“U.S. sanctions will not affect the performance of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq and will not remove this resilient Iraqi group from the political scene,” he added.
In addition, Iraq’s resistance al-Nujaba Movement has warned Ankara that it does not differentiate between Turkish and American occupation forces in protecting the Arab country’s territorial integrity and confronting the aggressors.
Nasr al-Shammari, the official spokesman of the Iraqi resistance movement, raised the alarm in a tweet on Tuesday and said the Iraqi people, parliament and government are calling for an end to the presence of foreign occupation forces in their country.
“We in the Islamic resistance do not look at Turkey with the same view that we look at the United States except on the issue of the occupation of Iraq’s territory,” Al-Shammari wrote.
Nujaba’s spokesman pointed to Turkey’s diplomatic messages, threats and attacks against Iraq and said, “It is better to ask their predecessors [the American occupiers] about the price they will have to pay for this.”
Al-Shammari reiterated the warning against Ankara in his tweet and said, “The wise should learn from the experiences of others.”
Al-Nujaba Movement is also part of the PMU, an Iraqi government-sponsored umbrella organization composed of around 40 factions of volunteer counter-terrorism forces, including mostly Shia Muslims besides Sunni Muslims, Christians and Kurds.