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Iraqi Hashd al-Shaabi to be granted official status: PM

28 July 2016 8:44

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The Iraqi government says Hashd al-Shaabi forces, also known as the Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs), are to be placed on par with Iraq’s army units and subject to military law.

The statement from Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, released on the English-language PMUs Twitter feed, touched on the important role played by the group in seizing back territory from Daesh.

The statement stipulates that “politics” would be banned within PMUs, which comprises various Iraqi sects, assisting army soldiers in battles against Takfiri terrorists.

“Members of the Hashd who are part of this body are to have no links to any political, party political or social framework,” the statement said.

A spokesperson for the Popular Mobilization Units said the change would put the forces on par with the elite Counter-Terrorism Forces.

“We are now under command of the prime minister’s office currently held by Haider Al-Abadi,” the spokesperson pointed out.

The Popular Mobilization Units has played an important role in seizing back territory from Daesh terrorists, and together with Iraqi army troops and tribal fighters managed to recapture the strategic western city of Fallujah late last month.

The report comes as the Iraqi military and its allies are preparing to launch a large-scale operation and liberate the northern city of Mosul, which Daesh has proclaimed its headquarters in Iraq. Mosul fell to Daesh Takfiris early in the summer of 2014.

An offensive launched in 2015 to retake Mosul came to a halt after Daesh militants overran the city of Ramadi, which is the capital of the western province of Anbar and about 110 kilometers (68 miles) west of Baghdad. Ramadi was liberated in December 2015.

On June 18 this year, Iraqi forces launched an offensive against Daesh terrorists to retake the southern part of Mosul, one day after they retook Fallujah. The forces aim to ultimately recapture the entire Mosul.

The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since Daesh terrorists mounted an offensive in the country in June 2014.

Iraqi government forces, backed by fighters from allied Popular Mobilization Units, have been pushing the militants out of the country’s territory.

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