Hundreds of thousands gather in Baghdad demanding US forces leave

Hundreds of thousands gather in Baghdad demanding US forces leave
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Massive crowds filled the streets of Baghdad on Friday, protesting the presence of American troops in the country.

The protest was organized by anti-American Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and was given legitimacy by Iraqi armed forces that have close ties to Iran, The New York Times reports. Al-Sadr called for a "million man march."

The protests come three weeks after President TrumpDonald John TrumpCuomo grilled by brother about running for president: 'No. no' Maxine Waters unleashes over Trump COVID-19 response: 'Stop congratulating yourself! You're a failure' Meadows resigns from Congress, heads to White House MORE authorized an airstrike in the country that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Iran retaliated against the U.S. a few days later, launching a missile strike at two military bases in Iraq that house U.S. troops.

The breach of Iraqi sovereignty and the subsequent heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran led Iraq's Parliament to pass a resolution calling for American troops to leave, though a specific timeline was not set.

According to the Times, people from across the country were being bused in for the protests.

There was a heavy security presence surrounding the march's path and the Green Zone that houses the U.S. Embassy, according to a report by CNN.