Influential religious leader Moqtada Sadr has issued a fervent call for the Iraqi government to close the American embassy in Baghdad. Sadr's demand is rooted in what he perceives as Washington's "unconditional support" for Israel during its conflict with Hamas. On social media, Sadr issued a warning to the government and parliament that if they do not respond, he will announce a different position.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani has also been vocal in his criticism of what he terms the "Zionist occupation," describing Israel's actions in Gaza as a "genocide" against the Palestinian people.
The relentless Israeli bombardments have led to more than 7,300 Palestinian casualties in Gaza, predominantly civilians, according to the Hamas health ministry.
Iraqis have consistently staged protests in condemnation of the Israeli bombing and to express support for the Palestinian cause. It's worth noting that all Iraqi political factions, like their neighbor Iran, which is Israel's sworn enemy, do not recognize the Israeli state and stand in solidarity with the Palestinians.
Furthermore, US forces and their coalition allies in Iraq have been targeted in a series of attacks, primarily claimed by the group "Islamic Resistance in Iraq" on Telegram channels associated with pro-Iran factions.
The Pentagon recently reported 16 such attacks in Iraq and Syria this month.
While the Baghdad government has close ties with Tehran, it is also actively working to maintain relations with the United States, which has 2,500 soldiers stationed on Iraqi territory. In response to attacks on American soldiers, the Iraqi government labeled them as "unacceptable" and vowed to investigate.
On October 22, Washington made the decision to evacuate all non-essential staff from its embassy in Baghdad's high-security Green Zone and its consulate in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan region.