Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Influential Iraqi Shia cleric and militant leader Muqtada al-Sadr has told a security member it is religiously impermissible to get training by U.S. security instructors.
Answering faith-related inquiries on his online portal, Sadr was asked by a man, who identified himself as Ahmed al-Iraqi, a member of “Iraqi internal security services”, whether it was permissible to get training by U.S. troops.
“We get training on the use of arms and the detection of explosives, but, sir, we are trained by the occupier coalition forces in Iraq,” read the inquiry.
“I am not pleased with that, but it is our commanders’ orders,” the agent added. “Be noted that I do not sympathize, eat, talk or jab with them, is that still considered an assistance to occupiers?”.
Sadr answered that “this is forbidden, and if you may, get a religious exception (edict) to do it”.
The authenticity of the inquiry and the identity of the asker could not be verified.
Sadr has been a central player in the political and militancy scene in Iraq, and had for some time, following the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, been branded an enemy to the United States, being an ardent opponent to foreign military presence in the country.
A U.S.-led alliance had backed Iraqi forces in their fight against Islamic State militants since their emergence in 2014 and until the group’s defeat last year’s end. While Iraqi officials were quoted saying it was expected that coalition troops would draw down their numbers after IS defeat, coalition officials said they were keeping a few thousand troops for training purposes.