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Iraqi PM Rebuffs U.S. Decree That ‘Foreign Shia Militias’ Should Leave Country

Ever since ISIS appeared in Iraq in 2014, both the policies and strategies coming out of Washington have ranged from confused to inept, as politicians and Pentagon officials spar over whether or not to cooperate with various Iranian-affiliated Shia militias and People’s Mobilization Units (PMF), led by Hash d’ al-Shaabi and Badr Organisation.

The driving factor behind Washington’s stance is the Israeli Lobby and Gulf state led by Saudi Arabia – who vocally oppose any US cooperation with Shia PMF’s in Iraq. This lack of coherency has also helped alienate the Iraq government in Baghdad who appear to be less and less concerned with Washington’s sectarian imposition and more concerned with closing-out the ISIS threat in Iraq.

This dysfunctional US policy of exclusion in local operational partners on the ground may have helped to prolong the lifespan of ISIS in parts of Iraq. Washington’s insistence on playing the sectarian card has led to its inability to openly cooperate with key players – to benefit of ISIS.

Notice how the AFP report below categorically refers to Shia militia in Iraq at “Iranian militias” – another example of the western mainstream media intentionally skewing language in order to give a false impression that all Shia militias in Iraq are Iranian – which is patently false.

This week: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson drew the short straw again, as Pentagon warhawks send him to Riyadh on another impossible mission…

AFP reports…

Iraq on Monday rebuffed a US demand that Iranian militias leave the country, insisting that the paramilitary forces which helped it defeat the Islamic State group consist solely of Iraqi nationals.

“Nobody has the right to interfere in Iraqi affairs,” the Iraqi cabinet said in a statement, quoting a source close to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

“The fighters of the Hashed (al-Shaabi paramilitary units) are Iraqis who are concerned for their country and have sacrificed for its defence and for its people,” it said.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson demanded that Iranian militias leave Iraq.

“Certainly Iranian militias that are in Iraq, now that the fighting against (IS) is coming to a close, those militias need to go home,” Tillerson said.

“All foreign fighters need to go home,” he said at a press conference in Riyadh.

The 60,000-strong Hashed was formed in 2014 after IS seized swathes of northern Iraq, routing government forces.

A coalition mostly made up of Iranian-backed militias, it has played a key role in Iraq’s successful fightback against the jihadists over the past three years.

It answers to Iraq’s prime minister as commander-in-chief of the Iraqi armed forces, into which it has been integrated by a parliamentary vote.

Tillerson’s remarks were also aimed at Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards and their foreign operations wing, the Quds Force, according to a senior US official accompanying him.

“The position of the Iraqi government and the position of our government is that there should be a single Iraqi security force answerable to the Iraqi state,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has also hit back at Tillerson’s remarks, saying Iran played a crucial role in the fight against IS both in Iraq and Syria.

“If it wasn’t for the sacrifices of the Islamic Republic of Iran… Daesh (IS) would have installed its government in Damascus, Baghdad and (the Iraqi Kurdish regional capital) Arbil by now,” he said.

READ MORE IRAQ NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Iraq Files




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