Hadi al-Amiri, head of the Badr militia speaking at a conference on terrorism October 28, 2017 in Baghdad/ Photo: Rudaw
BAGHDAD, Iraq—At a conference on terrorism in Baghdad on Saturday military and militia leaders said that it was Iran that helped their country against terrorism and not the United States or the international coalition.
Hadi al-Amiri, head of the Badr militia and a powerful Shiite figure who was one of the speakers said, “Iran is the one that helped on the ground in Iraq and not the international coalition, during the war against ISIS,”
Al-Amiri said that defeating ISIS wasn’t the end of the road.
“We’re now living the final stages of military victory over ISIS, but bigger responsibilities lie ahead of us and it will be a grave mistake to think the defeat of ISIS is the end of the road,” he said.
Saturday’s event titled International Conference for Dialogue on Terrorism was attended by many military and militia leaders of the Hashd al-Shaabi.
Al-Amiri blamed the United States and its war to stop the communist influence as the main cause of the rise of extremist groups in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region.
He went on to say that American presence in the Middle East also contributed to terrorist groups.
“US occupation and the campaigns of the regime in the 1990s and their exploitation by extremists led to radicals and the growth of their ideology especially by the regime’s repressive intelligence and secret police,” he said.
He said that the al-Qaeda fought to bring down the American project here.
“The al-Qaeda managed to train a huge number of youth to fight the American occupation and on the other side their slogan was fighting terrorism,” al-Amiri said.
The militia leader said that Saddam Hussein’s regime had pitched the Sunni community against the Shiites.
“Unfortunately, the Baath party had convinced the Sunnis that the fall of his regime was the fall of Sunnis and therefore they should support the regime with all their power,” he said.
Al-Amiri echoed the sentiment of other militia leaders who in recent days have condemned American calls for the disbanding of the Hashd al-Shaabi, saying they are legitimate Iraqi forces.
“In this situation then came a fatwa from the religious authorities for the Iraqi youth to take up arms and defend Iraq,” he said.
He blamed the world among them Washington and former US President Barack Obama for saying that he would not join the war against ISIS “because it was a legitimate Sunni uprising against oppressions carried out against them,”