Iraq scholars hail parliament vote to legalize Hashd al-Sha’abi



The association of Iraq’s Sunni Muslim scholars has hailed the parliament’s recent recognition of the Shia-majority Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, as a subdivision of the country’s armed forces.

On Saturday, the legislature recognized Hashd al-Sha’abi as an official force with similar rights as those of the regular army, therefore legally establishing it as part of the National Armed Forces, which is subject to its commandership.

Abdul-Qadir al-Alousi, who chairs the Council of Scholars of Baghdad, welcomed the vote in a statement, saying it was the least token of appreciation of Hashd al-Sha’abi sacrifices for the liberation of Iraq and preservation of the country’s unity, Iraq’s Shafaaq news website reported.

The measure, he said, represents the will of the entire Iraqi nation, including all of its ethnic and religious minorities, adding anyone opposing the move pursues foreign-dictated goals as well as the country’s disintegration and destruction.

The Popular Mobilization Units were formed after the rise of Daesh in Iraq in 2014.

In the early days of Daesh emergence in Iraq, the volunteer fighters played an important role in reinforcing the army, which had initially suffered heavy losses amid the lightening advances of the Takfiri terrorists.

Currently, Hashd al-Sha’abi has joined forces with the army and other military groups, including Kurds and Christians, in the large-scale operation to free the northern city of Mosul, the last remaining Daesh foothold in Iraq.

Shia fighters from the Hashd al-Sha’abi volunteer force advance from an area near the town of Qayyarah towards the village of Tal Um Jadaan, southwest of the northern city of Mosul, November 26, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Iraqis find Daesh databank

Meanwhile, Iraqi security forces involved in the Mosul battle came upon a databank belonging to the terror group in Amrakan Village south of Mosul, Iraq’s al-Sumariah TV network reported.

The find comprises computers, financial documents, and leases on agricultural lands overrun by the group. The gain led to the identification of “all” of the terror group’s members and its financial transactions with foreign countries.

The city fell to Daesh on June 10, 2014, the year it unleashed its campaign of terror against the country. Mosul’s recapture would deliver a decisive blow to Daesh terror activities both in Iraq and neighboring Syria.

Separately, London-based Al Quds Al Arabi paper reported that the group had executed 32 Iraq civilians, which it had seized during raids on residential houses south of Mosul on Friday, accusing them of collaboration with security forces and “apostasy.”

Iraqi forces have, time and again, paused their operations in favor of allowing civilians to flee the battleground, while Daesh refuses to spare the non-combatants and uses them as human shields against the army’s advances.

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