Hundreds of thousands gather in Baghdad demanding US forces leave

Hundreds of thousands gather in Baghdad demanding US forces leave
© Getty Images

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 TrumpTrump lawyers to Supreme Court: Jan. 6 committee 'will not be harmed by delay' Two House Democrats announce they won't seek reelection DiCaprio on climate change: 'Vote for people that are sane' 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.

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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.