Kataib Hezbollah

Iraq’s anti-terror Kata’ib Hezbollah group, a faction of the country’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Sha’abi, has warned that a “tougher and stronger” confrontation awaits US forces should they defy a timetable set for their withdrawal from the Arab country.

Kata’ib spokesman Muhammad Mohi stressed on Thursday that the conditional ceasefire with foreign soldiers in Iraq should be taken seriously as the limits and conditions set by the resistance will be followed by confrontation.

He also referred to a statement by the Iraqi Resistance Coordination Commission, which warned that the next stage of the resistance will soon happen.

“This stage may be tougher and stronger featuring new types of weapons,” Mohi explained.

The Americans may not be able to assess the capabilities of the Iraqi resistance groups, but they should know that those factions have the potential to engage them and thwart their schemes, he added.

The Kata’ib spokesman further urged the Iraqi government to preserve the country’s sovereignty and control its land and sky, otherwise it will be accused of collaborating and colluding with the Americans.

Anti-US sentiment has been running high in Iraq following Washington’s January 3 assassination of top Iranian anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and senior Hashd al-Sha’abi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, in addition to several other comrades, outside the Baghdad airport.

Just two days later, Iraqi lawmakers unanimously passed a bill mandating the expulsion of all foreign troops from the country.

Washington, however, has threatened sanctions should US troops be expelled from Iraq instead of ending the occupation of the Arab country.

Last month, members of the Iraqi Resistance Coordination Commission published a statement suggesting that they would halt their military operations against the US troops, including rocket attacks, providing that Washington does not persist in maintaining its presence there.

The resistance groups also agreed on a conditional ceasefire with American forces and stressed that the “conditional opportunity” was created “to respect the good efforts made by some national and political figures to draw up a clear and specific timetable for the implementation of the decision of the Iraqi people, parliament, and government on withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq.”

They, however, threatened to “use all the weapons at their disposal” against American forces if they refuse to pull out from Iraq.