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Iraqi Commander: US Forces Spying on Hashd Al-Shaabi at Borders with Syria

A commander of Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraqi popular forces) in al-Anbar province revealed that the US military forces are spying on them at bordering areas with Syria, warning that the popular forces would take action if they trace any threat to their nation.

The Arabic-language al-Ma’aloumeh news website quoted Qassem Moslih, the Iraqi popular forces’ commander in Western al-Anbar, as saying that the US forces fly different types of planes over the Iraq-Syria bordering areas, spying on Hashd al-Shaabi.

He added that 20,000 Hashd al-Shaabi forces are deployed near the border with Syria from al-Qa’em to the Southern Iraq near Jordan, stressing that they are prepared to confront any threats against the country.

The US military has widened its buildup in bordering areas between Iraq and Syria, Iraqi sources said in September.

al-Ma’aloumeh news agency quoted Farhan Mohammed al-Dulaimi, a member of al-Anbar province’s council, as saying last month that the US forces were still present in different parts of Western al-Anbar near the borders with Syria.

He dismissed media reports claiming that the US forces had withdrawn from al-Qa’em border passageway and other regions in Western al-Anbar to Ein al-Sad airbase, and said they had even reinforced their deployment.

In a relevant development in November, Hashd al-Shaabi foiled the US army plans to seize an airbase in al-Anbar province in the Western parts of the country at the borders with Syria.

Moslih said that his forces had prevented a US plane carrying military forces from landing at Abu Radha al-Baladawi airbase, adding that they wanted to capture the military base.

Another commander for Hashd al-Shaabi said that their forces cordoned off the runway at the Abu Radha al-Baladawi airbase.

He added that Hashd al-Shaabi opposes the presence of US military personnel in the area which, as the source said, contradicts Washington’s claim of contributing to the ongoing anti-ISIL efforts on the ground.

“Americans are always provoking our troops while in the area and interfering in the security affairs,” he said. “The western Anbar region does not need any foreign deployments as the Iraqi forces, whether from the army or the Hashd al-Shaabi, are able to defend it at any time.”

He accused the US forces of supporting the revival of terrorism and the remaining ISIL sleeper cells instead of eliminating them on the border between Iraq and Syria.

He said that the US troops were planning to establish a military installment at the airbase.

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