Haitham al-Mayahi, the U.S.-based director of the international relations office of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), told Al Arabiya News recently that 20 tribal sheikhs from the western Iraqi province of Anbar, who fought al-Qaeda in the last decade, are ready to join forces to defeat Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.
Q: What were the fears from PMU regarding the Awakening? And how did the Awakening accept to be part of PMU. How did that happen?
There will never be liberation of Mosul or Anbar without the PMU, when you have people who are ready to die like ISIS, you should have people who are also ready to die as well
Q: So are you and Silverman considered as the pioneers or fathers of these ideas?
And what I like about their sheikhs is that they are all liberal, modern and not Islamists
Q: Why do you think it needs a lot of convincing, what are their fears?
Q: PM Abadi previously said in April that PMU will not join the in the retaking of Mosul, why is that? Do you think this will change?
For Yazidis, we have a small brigade called the Sinjar Brigade, and they are part of the Imam Ali Brigade