Radical Shia cleric Muqtada al Sadr said that US troops supporting the Iraqi military’s offensive to retake Mosul from the Islamic State should be targeted by his militias.
Sadr, who openly fought US troops several times during the US occupation, made the statement in response to a question from a follower on how they should respond to the US military’s deployment of additional troops to aid Iraqi forces in retaking Mosul.
“They are a target for us,” Sadr said on his website, according to Reuters.
US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced last week that the US military would send 560 more troops to Iraq to capitalize on recent Iraqi military success in Qayarra south of Mosul.
“These additional US forces will bring unique capabilities to the campaign and provide critical enabler support to Iraqi forces at a key moment in the fight,” Carter said on July 12 during a visit to Baghdad.
Sadr has previously said his Peace Brigades was preparing to deploy to Mosul to fight the Islamic State.
In the past, Sadr has threatened to attack US forces operating in Iraq against the Islamic State. In May 2015, Sadr said he was prepared to unleash his militia and target US personnel inside Iraq and beyond if the US House of Representatives passed a bill that would have recognized Kurdistan and Sunnis in western Iraq as their own independent countries.
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Image is Muqtada al Sadr, from his website
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