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US regards PMU thorn in its side, seeks to harm anti-terror group: Analyst

Members of Iraq's resistance group Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), also known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, march in a symbolic funerary parade in the capital Baghdad on June 29, 2021, in remembrance of those killed in a US raid against one of the PMU’s brigades. (Photo by AFP)

A political researcher and legal specialist believes that the United States regards Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) as a thorn in its side, and therefore, it tries to harm the anti-terror group in different ways.

“There is no doubt that the United States regards Hashd al-Sha’abi (PMU) and the basis for its formation as a great threat to its presence in Iraq,” Mehdi Abdelreza said in an interview with Press TV.

“And therefore, it tries to destroy [the PMU] ... ideologically in various ways and depict it as affiliated with Iran,” Abdelreza added.

He said the White House, together with its Persian Gulf Arab allies and Israel, tries to discredit the PMU while at the same time conducting military strikes against the resistance group.

In the early hours of Monday, the US military conducted airstrikes against Iraqi resistance groups, including the headquarters of the 14th Brigade of the PMU, prompting a rocket attack against an illegal American base in the eastern Syrian province of Dayr al-Zawr.

In recent years, the US has conducted numerous attacks against PMU forces, who have played a major role in the defeat of Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

Joe Biden’s first illegal military strike as US president was against the Iraqi resistance group on the Iraqi-Syrian border, only a month into his presidency.

His predecessor, Donald Trump, committed his most reckless military provocation by assassinating Iran’s top anti-terror commander, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, along with the deputy commander of the PMU, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a year earlier.

According to Abdelreza, Washington’s ultimate objective is to secure a long presence in Iraq, where anti-American sentiments reach a new peak every now and then, by beefing up Daesh terrorists, whose presence would bring nothing but instability to the Arab country.

It goes without saying, he continued, that “the very presence of the American forces is also the cause of instability and chaos, the latest consequences of which are the attacks on the Haditha Dam and the power transmission towers.”

He explained that al-Qa’im border town is the easiest and closest pathway for American forces to move between different bases, including the US-run Ain al-Asad Airbase in Iraq’s province of Anbar.

“The Americans sometimes use these areas for logistical transfers and sometimes for the transfer of the terrorists’ families,” said Abdelreza.

He added that the US regards the PMU as an obstacle to its moves in al-Qa’im, because the resistance forces control the movements in that area.

The analyst also said Daesh’s attacks on vital facilities, including the terrorist group’s latest attack against a power station in the city of Samarra, are carried out at the behest of the United States, which aims to wage an economic war against the Arab country with the predictable outcome of forcing certain corporates’ activities on the Iraqi government.

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