Iraqi groups set ultimatum for US troops withdrawal, threatening to escalate: source

Iraqi groups set ultimatum for US troops withdrawal, threatening to escalate: source

Shafaq News/ Iraqi armed factions have set a new ultimatum for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country, a political source revealed on Wednesday.

The source, speaking to Shafaq News on condition of anonymity, said several armed groups have granted the government of Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani a 40-day window to finalize the process.

This development follows a period of relative calm nationwide. Attacks on US troops in Iraq and Syria ceased in early February after a drone strike in Jordan killed three American soldiers. The US responded with deadly strikes in a cycle of escalating violence that Iraqi officials said threatened to undo progress towards stabilizing the country after decades of conflict.

The source indicated that the armed groups, known in Iraq as factions, are seeking a "publicly announced and binding withdrawal timeline."

"Failure to do so will prompt a resumption of military operations against US targets and interests inside and outside Iraq," the source added.

Since January, Iran-aligned Iraqi armed group Kataib Hezbollah has suspended of all its military operations against US troops in the region, in a decision aimed at preventing "embarrassment" of the Iraqi government.

Iran-aligned groups, known collectively as the "Axis of Reistance", have been waging attacks against Israeli and US targets from Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq and Syria, since the beginning of the war that erupted in the aftermath of the October 7 attack.

Kataib Hezbollah is the most powerful faction in the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group of hardline Shiite armed factions that have claimed more than 150 attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria since the Gaza war began.

Kataib Hezbollah's decision followed days of intensive efforts by Iraq's prime minister to prevent a new escalation after the Jordan attack, government officials revealed back then.

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