(MENAFN- The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Iraq's firebrand Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has threatened to attack U.S. troops that are planned to be sent to Iraq to prepare for an anticipated offensive to retake the northern city of Mosul from Daesh group.
Last week, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said during a visit to Baghdad that the Pentagon will send 560 more troops to Iraq.
'They are a target for us,” al-Sadr said in response to a question by one of his followers about how to respond to the US military deployment, according to a statement by his office.
Al-Sadr, who has thousands of supporters, fought U.S. troops several times during the 2003 U.S. occupation of Iraq.
Iraqi forces are preparing to launch an offensive to retake Mosul from Daesh, which overran the city in early 2014.
Ghalip al-Zamili, a member of al-Sadr";s al-Ahrar parliamentary bloc, said foreign troops were not needed in the planned military operation to recapture Mosul.
'The Iraqi army and tribal forces are capable of retaking Mosul from the hands of Daesh,” al-Zamili told Anadolu Agency.
Iraq has suffered a devastating security vacuum since mid-2014, when Daesh captured Mosul and overran large swathes of territory in the northern and western parts of the country.
By Ali Shikho and Ali Jawwad