The powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered his militiamen to redouble their battle to oust American forces and argued that Iraq's army and police should join him in defeating "your archenemy."
Al-Sadr commands an enormous following among Iraq's majority Shiites and has close allies in the Shiite-dominated government.
"You, the Iraqi army and police forces, don't walk alongside the occupiers, because they are your archenemy," the al-Sadr statement said.
He urged his followers not to attack fellow Iraqis but to turn all their efforts on American forces.
"God has ordered you to be patient in front of your enemy, and unify your efforts against them - not against the sons of Iraq," the statement said.