Iraqi fighters ‘agree conditional ceasefire’ to halt US attacks

An array of Iran-backed Iraqi armed groups have agreed to suspend attacks on United States forces on condition Iraq’s government presents a timetable for a withdrawal of US troops, according to one of the groups.

“The factions have presented a conditional ceasefire,” Mohammed Mohi, spokesman for the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah group, said on Sunday.

“It includes all factions of the [anti-US] resistance, including those who have been targeting US forces,” he told the Reuters news agency.

Mohi said the Iraqi government must implement a parliamentary resolution in January that called for the withdrawal from Iraq of foreign troops.

The parliament’s decision came after a US drone strike at Baghdad airport on January 3 killed top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and Iraq’s top Shia paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, raising fears of a full-scale Iran-US confrontation on Iraqi soil.

Mohi said there was no deadline for the government to implement the decision, but warned: “If America insists on staying and doesn’t respect the parliament’s decision then the factions will use all the weapons at their disposal.”

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