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Iraqi Hashd al-Shaabi condemns Saudi FM’s remarks

1 July 2016 9:48

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Iraqi pro-government Hashd al-Shaabi, also known as the Popular Mobilization Units, has vehemently condemned the Saudi foreign minister’s call for the dissolution of the force, which is assisting army soldiers in battles against the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.

The organization, in a statement released on Thursday, argued that Adel al-Jubeir’s calls for the dismantling of the Popular Mobilization Units exceeded all limits, calling on the United Nations to take measures against him.

The statement further pointed to Hashd al-Shaabi as the main force fighting the scourge of Daesh terrorism, noting that Saudi Arabia is pursuing a spiteful political campaign against the Popular Mobilization Units through its officials and ambassador to Baghdad Thamer al-Sabhan as well as pro-Riyadh media outlets.

Hashd al-Shaabi also urged the Iraqi Foreign Ministry to take a firm stand in the face of Saudi Arabia’s abusive policies.

Iraqi National Security Adviser Faleh al-Fayyad also told Arabic-language al-Sumaria television network on Thursday that the top Saudi diplomat’s “demand for the dismantling of the Popular Mobilization Units reflects the scope of his narrow-mindedness. Such comments are not beneficial to bilateral relations [between Baghdad and Riyadh]. It is outside the purview of Jubeir or anyone else to debate the issue.”


Fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units flash the “V” for victory sign as government forces gather near the city of Fallujah on May 24, 2016 after launching an assault to retake the city from Daesh terrorists. ©AFP

 

“The world has begun to realize that Hashd al-Shaabi is a key factor in the fight against terrorism. The force crushed Daesh, which operates to cause sectarian tensions in Iraq and is poised to kill 70 percent of the Iraqi population,” Fayyad said.

Earlier, Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Jamal strongly condemned Jubeir’s comments as “meddlesome”.

Jamal, in a statement released on Wednesday, expressed Baghdad’s distraught over Saudi Arabia’s repeated intervention in Iraq’s domestic affairs, calling on Riyadh to stop Saudi nationals from joining Daesh terrorists.

“Hashd al-Shaabi is an official party that incorporates various walks of the Iraqi nation. It is part of the national Iraqi defense forces, under the control of the National Operational Command, and receives its budget from the Iraqi government,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi strongly advised the Saudi envoy to Baghdad to stand firmly committed to its diplomatic duties and avoid meddling in Iraq’s internal affairs.

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