Chief Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami says the Iranian force stands by Iraq’s anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), also known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, in its battle against foreign occupation.
During a meeting with Hashd al-Sha’abi chariman Falih al-Fayyadh in Tehran on Sunday, Gen. Salami hailed the resistance group for playing a strategic role in the victory of the Iraqi nation over the Daesh terrorist group and maintaining the country’s security and stability.
“Real political powers are the field powers and Hashd al-Sha’abi is extraordinary in this regard and God willing, its power will expand as a defense force on the back of great ideals, strong faith, internal unity and high discipline,” he added.
Salami also described the bond of the resistance and Hashd al-Sha’abi with the people as key to their success, saying, “You and all of us must be vigilant so that people won't be affected by the psychological warfare waged by the enemy. Although you have put behind the difficult stages of the struggle, you should never neglect the enemy’s tricks.”
“An important part of what we are now calling America's decline on the world stage took place in Iraq. It means that the resistance that was formed in that country has weakened and worn out the Americans, and by raising their costs, it has made them choose between two evils; staying and incurring damage, or leaving and conceding defeat,” he explained.
The IRGC chief further stressed that the bond between the IRGC and Hashd al-Sha’abi is rooted in the holy religion of Islam, regardless of geographical borders.
"We are your supporters in the resistance front and the continuation of this great battle. We hope that the Iraqi parliamentary resolution on the withdrawal of American troops from the country will be materialized in practice and that an independent, sovereign and secure Iraq will continue on its path in the absence of occupiers.”
On January 3, 2020, the US assassinated Iran’s legendary anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of Hashd al-Sha'abi, in a drone strike near Baghdad International Airport.
Two days later, the Iraqi parliament unanimously approved a bill, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country.
Since then, however, Washington has been dragging its feet on the pullout and targeting anti-terror groups from time to time.
During Sunday’s meeting, Fayyadh appreciated the support of the Iranian nation and the IRGC for the Iraqi people and Hashd al-Sha'abi.
“Martyr Soleimani was the one who inspired Hashd al-Sha'abi. Today, Hashd al-Sha'abi owes its existence to General Soleimani and the endeavors of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, both of whom sacrificed their lives,” he said. “No power or country -- that is a friend of Iraq -- can be hostile to Hashd al-Sha'abi.”