Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Thousands of Iraqis gathering at Jadariya, a neighborhood in the Baghdad city center at a rally against the presence of U.S. troops in the country, in Baghdad, Iraq on January 24, 2020.

Thousands of Iraqis gathering at Jadariya, a neighborhood in the Baghdad city center at a rally against the presence of U.S. troops in the country, in Baghdad, Iraq on January 24, 2020. (Photo: Murtadha Al-Sudani/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

'Iraq for Iraqis': Hundreds of Thousands Flood Streets of Baghdad to Demand US Military Leave Country

"We want to see Iraq with full sovereignty."

Eoin Higgins

Over 200,000 Iraqis protested against the U.S. military presence in their country on Friday, demanding American forces leave as requested by the Arab nation's Parliament in early January after President Donald Trump ordered the assassination of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani during the general's visit to Iraq on January 3.

"We don't need any foreign troops to be in Iraq, we need Iraq for Iraqis," Hoda Hashimi, an employee in the Ministry of Trade in Baghdad, told the New York Times.

Hashimi added that while U.S. forces are not welcome in the country, the American people in Iraq—most of them there on business—were.

"We don't want Americans to leave, we want the troops to leave," said Hashimi. "We want America to support our country but with contracts, not troops."

The demonstrations were a reaction to the January 10 announcement from the U.S. that despite a January 5 vote from the Iraqi Parliament expelling American forces, U.S. military personnel would stay.

According to the Times:

The protest was concentrated in Baghdad, and people were brought in from other cities to participate rather than holding smaller simultaneous demonstrations across the country.

Although the event was carefully organized and scripted by Moqtada al-Sadr, a populist anti-American Shiite cleric, and given heft by Iraqi armed groups close to Iran, it also reflected a genuine desire shared by Iraqis to have a government and economy that serves the Iraqi people and not outside interests, many participants said.

Video from the pro-government march showed a sea of people waving flags and chanting anti-U.S. slogans.

Demonstrators rejected foreign influence in their country's affairs. 

"We don't want any country to decide the fate of Iraq," protester Thurgham al-Tamimi told CNN. "We want to see Iraq with full sovereignty."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Bombshell': Israeli Spyware Used to Hack iPhones of US State Department Officials

Calling the Israel-based spyware maker NSO Group an "in-plain-sight national security threat," one expert warned that "a multi-agency investigation is immediately needed."

Jessica Corbett ·


US Progressive Caucus Hails Honduran Election as Chance for 'New Chapter' in Relations

"We encourage the Biden administration to use this opportunity to make a clean break with previous presidential administrations, which worked to ensure that the 2009 coup d'état succeeded."

Brett Wilkins ·


'The Facts of This Case Are So Egregious': Parents of Michigan School Shooter Charged in Killings

"There were a lot of things that could have been so simple to prevent," the Oakland County prosecutor said of the mother and father now being sought by law enforcement.

Kenny Stancil ·


Health Minister Says 'Highly Transmissible' Omicron Hitting Young Children Hard in South Africa

In South Africa's worst-affected province, children under the age of five now make up the second-largest group being admitted to hospitals.

Julia Conley ·


Groups Tell UN Food Agency to Ditch 'Toxic Alliance' With Pesticide Association

"This partnership with CropLife is in direct conflict with FAO's mandate as a U.N. institution to fulfill human rights to health, adequate food, clean water and environment, and safe working conditions."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo