Iraqi MP warns of ‘dangerous’ US plan to target Hashd al-Sha’abi bases
An Iraqi lawmaker has warned of a “dangerous” US plot to target military bases run by Hashd al-Sha’abi, a paramilitary force that has actively cooperated with the Iraqi army in counter-terrorism operations.
In a statement carried by the Arabic-language al-Sumaria television network on Saturday, MP Karim Alawi said that American forces had begun reconnaissance operations to collect information about Hashd al-Sha’abi bases in Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces.
He called on Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to take action and confront those who are cooperating with the Americans in the reconnaissance operations.
Hashd al-Sha’abi, a combination of some 40 groups of mostly Shia fighters as well as Sunnis and Christians, was formed shortly after the Daesh emerged in Iraq in mid-2014.
Daesh unleashed a campaign of death and destruction in Iraq, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks. Iraq declared the end of the anti-Daesh campaign last December, but the group’s remnants still keep staging sporadic attacks.
In the early days of the Daesh’s reign of terror, Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters played a major role in reinforcing the Iraqi army, which had suffered heavy setbacks in the face of lightning advances by the Takfiri elements.
In November 2016, the Iraqi parliament voted to integrate Hashd al-Sha’abi into the military in the face of US efforts to sideline the group.