Baghdad: An anti-American cleric in Iraq is calling on his followers to cease attacks on US troops leaving the country so that the withdrawal isn`t slowed down.
Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has been demanding that all American forces leave Iraq by the end of the year as planned, or potentially face widespread violence.
Al-Sadr says in a statement posted on his website late Saturday that he has ordered his militias to let the Americans leave peacefully.
He says his ceasefire order was spurred by last week`s notice by US officials in Baghdad that the withdrawal has begun.
Al-Sadr also warns he will step up attacks against US forces if any stay past the end of the year, a move that American and Iraqi officials are now considering.