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Full legal status to boost Iraqi popular forces: Commentator

Fighters from the Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) advance from an area near Qayyarah towards the village of Tal Um Jadaan, southwest of Mosul, on November 26, 2015, during an ongoing operation against Daesh terrorists. (Photo by AFP)

The Iraqi parliament has approved a law to give full legal status to fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), also known as Hashd al-Shaabi forces, who have joined with government forces in counter-terrorism operations against Daesh Takfiri militants across the country.

A political commentator believes the Popular Mobilization Units have been doing “extremely well” in the anti-terror fight, adding that the Iraqi parliament’s vote to fully legalize these forces will give them a “boost.”

“The Popular Mobilization Force actually drives its legitimacy first and most importantly from the Iraqi people actually. Since its foundation it has been getting huge support from the Iraqi people; in fact they represent the Iraqi people. They are mainly volunteers from popular forces … to sacrifice their lives if necessary to defend Iraq and to liberate Iraq from the Takfiri thugs,” Sabah Jawad told Press TV in an interview on Sunday.

He also opined that these forces would have even done better without the United States and its regional allies’ intervention in Iraq.

The commentator further noted that the Popular Mobilization Units suspect the recent missile attack which took place at the recently liberated Tal Afar Airport was organized by the United States.  

The missile landed one meter and a half from the PMU commanders’ tent while a drone belonging to the US-led coalition was up in the sky.

“So the conspiracy against this very effective, very determined force to fight terrorism is still ongoing but with the entire support of the Iraqi people behind them they will fail miserably in preventing the liberation of Iraq from terrorism,” he said.

Jawad went on to say that the United States has been supporting the Daesh terrorists in an attempt to “divide” Iraq and to return to the war-torn country after it had to withdraw from it in 2011.  

However, he said, the Americans have failed to implement their plan in Iraq as well as to prevent the Popular Mobilization Forces from liberating different areas in the country –namely Fallujah.   

“The Americans were particularly worried about Fallujah because they did not want Fallujah to be liberated because most of the explosives and car bombs were coming from Fallujah to hit Baghdad,” he stated.

According to the commentator, the Popular Mobilization Forces have been very “effective” and “victorious” in every battle they have entered due to the “wholehearted support” of the Iraqi people.

Hashd al-Shaabi reportedly numbers more than 100,000 fighters. Iraqi authorities say there are between 25,000 and 30,000 Sunni tribal fighters within the force’s ranks in addition to Kurdish Izadi and Christian units.

These fighters have played a major role in the liberation of Daesh-held areas to the south, northeast and north of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, ever since the terrorists launched an offensive in the country in June 2014.

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