Jan 02, 2020 07:32 UTC
  • US raids on Iraq amount to aggression against entire Muslim Ummah: Top Bahraini cleric

Bahrain’s top Shia Cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim has denounced the deadly American air raids that targeted the positions of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi or Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), saying they constitute an act of aggression against the entire Muslim world.

According to Press TV, in a statement carried by Arabic-language Lu’a Lu’a TV network on Wednesday, Sheikh Qassim stressed that the brutal US strikes on the popular Iraqi forces, who are “defending the nation’s religion and dignity,” had been highly anticipated.

The American attacks should be considered not only an act of “aggression against all of Iraq, its security, freedom, independence, civilization and wealth, but also one against the entire Muslim Ummah,” read the statement.

The Bahraini cleric said the bloody strikes were “a crushing blow to human dignity” and “an entrenchment of the law of the jungle.”

All people, it added, have the right and indeed a duty to stand firm against such aggression.

The statement also said that it was “very painful ... and very shameful” that some regimes in the Arab world, alongside Israel, announce their official support for the US aerial assaults in Iraq.

On Sunday, the US conducted airstrikes on bases belonging to Kata’ib Hezbollah, which is a part of Hashd al-Sha’abi, in Iraq's Western Anbar Province near the Syrian border.

As many as 31 fighters from the popular forces lost their lives and dozens more sustained injuries in the attacks.

Bahrain — along with Saudi Arabia — was quick to voice support for the US raids, claiming that they were a response to “repeated criminal acts” of Kata’ib Hezbollah.

Zionist regime’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also lauded what he called "the important operation by the United States" in a phone call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The raids, however, drew a wave of damning reactions from officials and movements across the region, and triggered furious public protests outside the US embassy in Baghdad.

Iraqi people held two days of angry protests outside the US diplomatic mission, calling on the Iraqi government and parliament to expel Americans. On the first day, a group of the demonstrators attacked the compound and set fire to its gates, prompting clashes with security forces.

Clashes continued on Wednesday as demonstrators hurled stones, while US forces fired tear gas.