Iraqi militias agree 'conditional ceasefire' to halt U.S. attacks: spokesman
BAGDAD (Reuters) - A number of Iran-backed Iraqi militia groups have agreed to suspend rocket attacks on US forces, provided the Iraqi government provides a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops, one of the groups said on Sunday.
"The factions have introduced a conditional ceasefire," said Mohammed Mohi, spokesman for the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah group.
"It includes all factions of the (anti-US) resistance, including those who acted against US forces," he told Reuters.
Mohi said the Iraqi government must implement a parliamentary resolution in January calling for foreign troops to be withdrawn from Iraq.
Parliament's decision came after a US drone attack on Baghdad airport killed Iranian military mastermind Qassem Soleimani and Iraq's top Shiite paramilitary leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, raising fears of a comprehensive Iran-US let. Confrontation on Iraqi soil.
Mohi said there was no deadline for the government to implement the decision, but warned: "If America insists to stay and does not respect Parliament's decision, the factions will use all weapons at their disposal."
He said the firing of Katyusha missiles at US forces and diplomatic links was merely "a message that you are not welcome in the country" and that worse attacks could follow.
US officials are blaming Kataib Hezbollah for dozens of rocket attacks against US facilities in Iraq.
Kataib Hezbollah denies carrying them out. Smaller and previously unknown militias have launched some of the attacks. Iraqi security sources believe these groups are linked to Kataib Hezbollah and other larger Iranian-focused militias.
(Reporting by John Davison, editing by Ahmed Rasheed and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
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