Sat May 16, 2020 9:54
New Iraqi PM Tours Anti-US Popular Forces’ Headquarters, Wears Hashd Uniform in Show of Affinity
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraq's newly-elected Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi visited the command center of the country’s Popular Mobilization Forces, better known by the Arabic name Hashad al-Sha'abi, on Saturday, a move widely interpreted as carrying a crucial message not to the domestic population but to the outside world.

During the visit, al-Kadhimi met with the former head and advisor of the National Security Council and chairman of the Popular Mobilization Forces, Falih Al-Fayyadh, where the premier asked for a Hashad uniform to wear.

"Protecting Hashd al-Sha'abi is a duty", the premier stated, a remark which could be seen as a warning to Washington and the Tel Aviv regime that assaults against the Iraqi popular soldiers will not go unanswered.

The premier further vowed to defuse and end "the voices that are seeking to sow discord and rift between the government and Hashad".

"Hashad al-Sha'abi forces are a light in the eye of Iraq," al-Kadhimi said, praising the martyrs, dedication and devotion of the popular forces who will remain in the thoughts of the Iraqis forever.

The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU) has long rejected US military presence in Iraq as an obstacle to durable security and stability in the country.

Following the United States’ assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and PMU’s Deputy Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in the capital city of Baghdad in January, as well as Iraqi Parliament’s resolution for a pullout of foreign troops from the country, the popular forces asked the government to cancel request for assistance from Washington-led coalition and expel American soldiers.

Iraqi resistance groups have also vowed to take up arms against the American military men if Washington fails to comply with the parliamentary order calling for the expulsion of the US troops.

Since then, the US-led coalition has handed over to the Iraqi Army a number of bases it had occupied in the Arab country, but continued to reinvigorate its military buildup and equipment of its main airbase in the region in Ein-Assad in Southwestern Iraq.

Meantime, senior Iraqi officials have recently disclosed that all recent terrorist attacks in the three provinces of al-Anbar, Salahuddin and Babel by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (known as ISIL, ISIS or Daesh) militants came with the US support.

The United States, Israel and Takfiri terrorists have repeatedly attacked the positions of the PMU and its affiliated groups and killed dozens of their members.

At the same time, when protests over economic hardships rocked Iraqi cities several months ago, and amid reports of infiltration by violent elements into the ranks of the demonstrators, politicians warned about a international and regional conspiracy against the government and people in the Arab country, saying that the chaos is American-Saudi-Israeli plot to cut up Iraq into pieces.

The PMU also warned that Washington and Tel Aviv are members of "a third party" that has been behind many deaths during the unrest.  

The Iraqi parliament voted to integrate the PMU into the Iraqi military in 2016, effectively placing the force under the command of the prime minister. The popular forces played the major role in pushing back and ultimately defeating the Takfiri terror group which had taken control of a large swathes of the Arab country.





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