Iraqi TV airs animated clip that shows US coffins, supports Iran-backed militia

Etejah television station broadcasts video with flag-draped caskets, burning US military vehicles

A video broadcast by an Iraqi TV station on July 20, 2020, shows US coffins in a helicopter. (Screenshot/MEMRI)
A video broadcast by an Iraqi TV station on July 20, 2020, shows US coffins in a helicopter. (Screenshot/MEMRI)

An Iraqi TV station broadcast an animated video showing US coffins and promoting an Iran-linked militia group.

The clip was aired on Monday by the Etejah station, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute watchdog group.

The video shows rows of coffins covered with American flags in a helicopter, as it takes off from the desert.

US military vehicles are then shown burning as a massive fist with flags for Iraq and the Iranian-backed Kataeb Hezbollah militia rises from the ground beneath them.

The video includes the hashtag “#expel_the_occupation” in English and Arabic.

The US and its Iraqi allies have fought with Iran-backed militia groups in Iraq during the US’s long presence in the country.

Tensions between the US and Iran skyrocketed following a US airstrike that killed Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s most powerful military officer, in Iraq in January.

Soleimani was closely tied to Iraqi militias. The airstrike that killed him also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a leader of the Iran-backed militias in Iraq.

In response to the Soleimani killing, Iran launched a massive ballistic missile attack on Jan. 8, at al-Asad air base in Iraq, that resulted in traumatic brain injuries to more than 100 American troops.

The United States has about 5,000 troops in Iraq to train and advise Iraqi security forces in their fight against extremist groups like the Islamic State. The relationship became especially rocky in the aftermath of the American airstrike that killed Soleimani. The Iraqi government indicated it could expel all foreign forces, although it did not eventually take action against the US presence.

AP contributed to this report.

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