Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, Iran-backed militia attack Abadi

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With the ongoing social unrest in Iraq, the political turmoil continues with further delays in forming a new governments while the two biggest parliamentary blocs called for the immediate resignation of the caretaker prime minister Haidar al-Abadi for the failure in attending to Basra crisis. Read more

The latest calls on Abadi to leave office came late Saturday from his staunch rival Faleh al-Fayad faction of the Popular Mobilization Forces, declaring an open war against the prime minister on the wake of the deteriorating situation in the southern oil-rich city of Basra.

A representative of the Popular Mobilization Forces Abu Mehdi al-Muhandes said that the Popular Mobilization Forces- which played a major role in stinging defeats of ISIS- “started to respond to what is happening in Basra and that what happened was not carried out by the protesters.”

Muhandes said: “Abadi did not commit to most of his promises and deliberately obstructed his own law” adding that his (Abadi) dismissal of Faleh al-Fayad from three positions is a very strange and dangerous move and we are against it.”

Iraq Muhandes
Iraq Muhandes

On August, 31, Abadi announced the dismissal of the head of the Popular Mobilization Forces. Full story

The representative of the Popular Mobilization Forces considered Abadi and his government have failed in previous stages of running the country, especially in files related to services.

He further said “What happened of victories in the previous four years, were not due to the Prime ministry position” in reference to the major role played by the paramilitary militia in defeating ISIS.

Muhandes added: “We have no interest in renewing for Abadi” as new prime minister, pointing fingers at the United States involvement in Basra crisis, saying: “The Americans threatened to burn Basra” if Abadi is not given a new term as prime minster.

Khazaali calls for a military trial for Abadi

Meanwhile, Qais al-Khazaali, leader of Iraq’s Iranian-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia, called for the trial of Haidar al-Abadi in front a military court, as he is the chief of Iraq’s armed forces.

In a tweet, Khazaali said on Saturday that “it is not enough to dismiss the head of operations and the chief of police, but it is necessary to dismiss who gave them orders, which led to the deteriorating security situation and hold him responsible in front a military court.”

Argument between Abadi and Basra’s governor

Moreover, the parliamentary extraordinary session which was convened on Saturday to discuss Basra’s crisis witnessed a verbal altercation between Abadi and the governor of Basra, Asaad al-Eidani, about the security and services situation in the province.

Eidani said during the meeting: “The ministers are talking about the conditions of the province, as if Basra is in another world” noting that the province suffers from a severe shortage of services, and did not receive any budget of the (law Petro dollars), which grants Basra $ 5 for every barrel of oil extracted from the province, to improve the status of services.

He continued that the governorate did not benefit from the last 10,000 jobs launched by the government, pointing out that the security situation is unstable, as his house was burned during the protests, wondering: “Wat kind of security he (Abadi) is talking about?”

Death toll rises in Basra

For its part, the Iraqi Ministry of Health said on Saturday, that the death toll from the violence mired protests in Basra has risen to 15 death and 190 injuries.

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