Al-Awda demands: No war on Iran, US out of Iraq and the Arab World!

Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, urges Palestinians, Arabs and all people of conscience to demand the total and immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, the closure of all US-operated facilities used to maintain the illegal occupation of the country, and a complete end to hostilities with Iran, including the devastating sanctions and economic blockade.

After a series of provocations against resistance forces in Iraq and Syria, the U.S. killed 25 people and wounded 50 fighters in Iraq on December 29, 2019. The US made the spurious claim that this was a “response” to a Dec. 24 rocket attack on its occupation military base in Kirkuk that allegedly killed one contractor, despite the fact that Kataib Hizbollah, the organization accused by the US, denied this allegation and had no fighters stationed in the area. On this false pretext – much like many other imperialist wars, including the US invasion of Iraq nearly 17 years ago –  the US launched that deadly assault on Dec. 29 against Iraqi fighters who had been confronting ISIS.

The Popular Mobilization responded to this attack with a peaceful and unarmed protest at the US embassy in the Iraqi Green Zone, where most of the occupation forces reside. Protesters led by the Popular Mobilization breached the embassy walls, demanding an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. On January 2nd, the Trump Administration ordered a cowardly drone strike on a convoy leaving Baghdad International Airport, killing Iranian General Qassem Soleimani of the Quds Force and Abu Mehdi Al Muhandis of the Popular Mobilization Forces of Iraq.

The Pentagon then taunted the world by publicly distributing the assassination order handed down by Trump himself, in essence implicating him directly in this war crime.

Prior to the attack, US military helicopters had been violating Baghdad’s airspace and terrorizing the population in retaliation for the protest. There was no evidence of coordination with local government authorities and this  was a violation of Iraqi sovereignty. The Iraqi government has made clear that it did not permit these multiple deadly attacks by US forces on its territory.

These combined acts of war on both Iraq and Iran follow a decisive military victory led by Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (including Kataib Hizbollah) and their Iranian allies, as well as the forces of the Lebanese resistance, that defeated Daesh (ISIS), Zionist-funded nihilists in both Iraq and Syria. Daesh brought death and destruction to Christian and Shia communities and aimed to instigate a sectarian war and shift the axis of resistance away from the Zionist State. The Islamic State desecrated religious sites, destroyed archaeological artifacts and ancient buildings and repeatedly attacked those resisting Israeli and US aggression while themselves coordinating with the Zionist air force. They punished their opposition with beheadings and crucifixions and ruled the towns they occupied with the “laws of the jungle.”

The US attacks also come on the heels of massive protests that have rocked Iraq and Lebanon, demanding an end to government corruption, neoliberalism and neocolonialism. The US imperialist forces and their proxy nihilists are declaring war on the world, destabilizing Iraq yet again to undermine the power of people’s movements in the region and weaken Iran, the state that presents the most serious remaining challenge to the domination of Zionism and U.S. imperialism.

In addition to the unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran, the JCPOA, the US is also supporting the continued siege of Gaza, which UN estimates indicate has already become unlivable. But the Trump administration is not new to such efforts at destabilization.  The US led an assassination and regime change attempt on Venezeula’s Nicholas Maduro and, with the help of racist reactionaries, overthrew the democratically elected government of Evo Morales in Bolivia. The US recognized Zionist sovereignty over the Syrian Golan Heights, declared that Jerusalem is the capital of “Israel” moving its embassy there, and sought to declare Zionist colonies legal in the Palestinian West Bank. Parallel to this hostile global posture, the US is imprisoning Latin American refugees at the borders and continues to separate children from their families in camps where many young children have been subjected to physical and sexual abuse,  rape, and even death.

In contrast, Iran had deployed Qassem Soleimani to assist the Lebanese resistance in decisively defeating the invading Zionist hordes during the 2006 invasion of Lebanon. Soleimani played a critical role in coordinating Russian and Syrian activities in surrounding and defeating ISIS in Syria and then in Iraq. In a manner similar to the end of WWII, where the Soviets defeated the Nazis and brought the Japanese emperor’s forces to surrender, but the US announced victory over both forces and then later nuked Japan while vilifying Joseph Stalin, the US erroneously and ahistorically declared victory over ISIS after Iran, Syria and the Lebanese and Iraqi resistance made it impossible for the proxy group to continue to operate. This was accompanied by the US vilification of Iran in the process and fostering sectarianism in the region as a whole to destabilize West Asia from Gaza to Afghanistan.

Join us on the national day of mobilization against the Trump administration’s escalation in Iraq and the newly declared war on Iran. We demand:

1. Complete withdrawal of US forces from the Arab World and Afghanistan and the closure of all US facilities assisting in the maintenance of hostilities and illegal occupation.
2. Immediate cessation of provocations targeting Iran by respecting Iranian sovereignty and lifting the illegal economic blockade.
3. Closure of the US embassy in Jerusalem and compliance with international law.
4. Stopping all funding of “Israeli” apartheid.
5. Lifting the siege on Gaza now.



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