Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadihas has declared himself the head of the pro-government Popular Mobilization Units, only a few days after he dismissed the former leader over purported involvement in “political and partisan work.”
The premier’s office, in a statement released on Monday, announced that the commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces has visited the command center of the volunteer fighters – better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi – to oversee the situation there.
“He (Abadi) lauded the hero fighters of the Hashd al-Sha’abi, their enormous sacrifices to achieve victory over terrorism in addition to their continued efforts to rebuild and reconstruct the country,” the statement added.
The statement concluded, “He is keen on the rights of the fighters, and is willing to provide them with all forms of support.”
Falih al-Fayyadh was removed from his post on Friday, with Abadi’s office stating that the decision had been taken due to his involvement in government formation talks and adding that this would undermine the performance of the country’s security apparatus.
The decision has largely been attributed to the country’s ongoing efforts to form a new government following parliamentary elections in May.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has sacked his national security advisor for alleged involvement in government formation talks.
Senior cleric Muqtada Sadr’s Sairoon bloc came first in the polls, while the Fatah (Conquest) Alliance led by Hadi al-Amiri, and Prime Minister Abadi’s Nasr finished second and third.
Before Abadi’s decision, reports surfaced alleging that Fayyadh was working with other heavyweight political groupings to establish the largest parliamentary bloc with expected influence in the make-up of the next government.
Abadi’s office said Fayyadh’s alleged involvement in government formation talks would undermine the performance of the country’s security apparatus.
As an apparent answer to the prime minister’s move, a number of Nasr’s leaders have made Fayyadh their candidate for premiership, according to various media reports.