A prominent Shia cleric in Iraq warned the US on Tuesday about the repercussions of transferring its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Muqtada al-Sadr, the powerful Shia cleric, said in a statement that the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem is “an explicit declaration of war against Islam and more than ever before.”
Sadr added that if the US embassy is transferred to Jerusalem, he “will call for the creation of a special military force to liberate al-Quds [Jerusalem],” stating that further details on the formation of the force would be announced later.
During his presidential campaigns, Donald Trump pledged to switch the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
"We are at the very beginning stages of even discussing this subject," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in his first press conference.
In addition, Sadr called for the members of the Arab League and Organization of Islamic Cooperation to resign or take a serious stand against what he called “the blatant infringement,” by the US.
Sadr also urged the Islamic countries to shut down the US and Israeli embassies at least temporarily, and called on the Iraqi government to “close the US embassy in Iraq immediately.”
In July 2016, Sadr issued a statement warning against the participation of the US troops in the military operations against Islamic State (IS) in Iraq.
Sadr said that “these troops will be considered invaders, not savers, if they participate in any military operation inside Iraq.”
A'lla Abud, the spokesperson of Saraya al-Salam, a military force loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr, had previously stated that “If the US insists on sending troops to Iraq, they will be targeted as we are thirsty for American blood.”
In 2004, Saraya al-Salam, previously known as al-Mahdi, declared war against the US-led coalition forces in Iraq a year after the fall of Saddam Hussein, killing and wounding dozen American soldiers.