Iraqi cleric threatens US military advisers

A Shiite Muslim cleric has threatened to attack U.S. military advisers when they arrive in the country to help Iraq’s government fight Sunni extremists.

In a sermon on Friday, Nassir al-Saedi, a loyalist to Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr, warned of an attack against the U.S., whom he called “the occupier,” Sky News reported.

"We will be ready for you if you are back," said al-Saedi.

The warning comes days after President Obama announced he was sending 300 U.S. military advisers to Iraq to bolster government security forces and help combat Sunni militant members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The British Telegraph also reported that tens of thousands of heavily armed fighters from al-Sadr’s militia, the Mahdi army, paraded through the streets of Baghdad Saturday.

The Shiite militia said it does not need or want help from the U.S. 

"If the Americans are thinking about coming back here, all of we Iraqis will become time bombs - we will eat them alive," said Adel Jabr Albawi, who marched in Saturday’s parade, according to the Telegraph. "We can deal with Isis ourselves."

Obama has said U.S. military advisers would not be engaged in fighting themselves but would only serve to help Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government stop and turn back the ISIS.

The threats from al-Sadr supporters could potentially open a second front for U.S. forces heading to Iraq.

His militia fought the U.S. in at least two rounds of street warfare during the most recent Iraq war and many of the fighters marching Saturday were veterans of those battles. 

ISIS has been rapidly overrunning major Iraqi cities and towns in the north in one of the most bloody campaigns of sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq in recent years. 

The Iraqi army turned to the militia for help who have been credited with stopping ISIS advance into northern Baghdad.