Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has proposed a roadmap for the period following the anticipated liberation of Mosul from Islamic State, setting the withdrawal of foreign troops as a condition.
In a statement by his office on Monday, the firebrand cleric set out a 29-point roadmap for political and social co-existence in Iraq following the recapture of Iraq’s second largest city from the extremist group. Among those points was a demand for the Iraqi government to urge “occupier troops, even the so-called friendly ones, from Iraqi territories so as to preserve the state’ prestige and sovereignty,” as he put it.
Al-Sadr has been a central player in the political and militancy scene in Iraq, and had for sometime, following the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, been branded an enemy to the United States, being an ardent opponent to foreign military presence in the country.
The U.S. maintains nearly 5000 soldiers in Iraq, and is leading a 65-state international military coalition to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Other aspects of Sadr’s proposition include exclusive mandates for Iraqi government forces to take hold of recaptured Iraqi regions. He also demanded United Nations-sponsored elections, a special body for minority affairs in Iraq and a national reconciliation debate.