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Iraqi leader says will not allow dissolution of Hashd al-Sha'abi

In this file picture, members of the Liwa al-Tafuf 13th Brigade of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units, better known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, take part in a graduation ceremony in the holy shrine city of Karbala. (Photo by AFP)

The secretary general of the Badr Organization has roundly dismissed attempts to dissolve Iraqi anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units, better known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Sha’abi.

“There are plots seeking either the merger or dissolution of Hashd al-Sha’abi. We will not allow these schemes to be carried out. The Popular Mobilization Units will stay on, and their main mission will be persevering Iraq’s sovereignty, and supporting the country’s security forces,” Hadi al-Amiri, who is also the leader of the Fatah Alliance (Conquest Alliance) political coalition, said on Friday.

He also called for the modernization of Iraqi armed forces with various types of sophisticated munitions.

Amiri said the Fatah Alliance has always stressed the need for powerful security and military institutions in addition to a mighty army in Iraq, adding security organs must assume their own responsibilities for such a highly important matter to realize.

Hashd al-Sh’abai (PMU) 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.

Back in November 2016, the Iraqi parliament approved a law giving full legal status to the PMU fighters. It recognized the PMU as part of the national armed forces, placed the forces under the command of the prime minister, and granted them the right to receive salaries and pensions like the regular army and police forces.

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