Security

US calls on Iraq to dismantle armed groups

By AFP

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Members of the Popular Mobilisation Forces stand atop a vehicle carrying the body of Wissam Alyawi, a commander of Asaib Ahl al-Haq, during a funerary procession in Baghdad on October 26th, 2019. [Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP]

The US on Wednesday (August 19th) called for Iraq to dismantle non-government "armed groups" that have "undermined national sovereignty", ahead of a visit to Washington by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhemi.

"Armed groups not under the full control of the prime minister have impeded our progress," said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. "Those groups need to be replaced by local police as soon as possible."

Pompeo was speaking at a press conference in Washington with Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, ahead of Kadhemi's meeting with President Donald Trump.

He did not specify which groups he was referring to, but Kadhemi, who took office in May, faces challenges from factions of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), a coalition of paramilitary groups with close ties to Iran.

His visit to Washington comes amid weekly attacks attributed to the groups against US and international coalition installations and assets in the country.

Pompeo said he had assured Hussein the US would help Iraq toward this end.

"We talked about how the US and Iraq can work together to make Iraq more safe and stable," he said.

Pompeo said the US is committed to supporting the official Iraqi security forces "to curb the power of militias that have for far too long terrorised the Iraqi people, and undermined Iraq's national sovereignty".

The two countries have been conducting a "strategic dialogue" since June as the US seeks to reduce its military presence there.

Asked about the plan for cutting the 5,000 US troops now in Iraq, Pompeo said he had no numbers and urged people "not to focus on that".

The continuing US presence, focused on fighting "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) remnants, will be a key issue when Kadhemi meets Trump.

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The Popular Mobilisation Forces are the prestige of Iraq. No, no to America! There is no presence for the occupier in Iraq.

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The Popular Mobilisation Forces are the pride of Iraq. No, no to America!

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It was the Popular Mobilisation Forces that restored sovereignty to Iraq and the Iraqis and foiled America’s plot and the efforts of "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) which was made by it. The PMF will always be the strong shield of Iraq and its force that defeated America and the Arab traitors.

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Get out of Iraq, Americans! We don't want occupation forces.

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Get out of Iraq, Americans! We don't want occupation forces.

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The militias that are in Iraq must be removed.

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It was the Popular Mobilisation Forces that restored sovereignty to Iraq and the Iraqis and foiled America’s plot and the efforts of "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) which was made by it. The PMF will always be the strong shield of Iraq and its force that defeated America and the Arab traitors.

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I hope the US forces will stay in order to deter the Iranians in Iraq.

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You’ve spoken the truth, my dear brother. Iran’s dream was to turn Iraq into a route linking it to Syria and Lebanon and make it a dependent state. The best way for Iran to reach its goal was to create the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS). Iran has spent billions of dollars on such terrorist gangs and brought them to Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. The proof is that al-Maleki withdrew the security forces from the Iraqi provinces to help ISIS enter. May God have mercy on our martyrs in the security agencies who defended Iraq! Shame and disgrace on all those who conspired against Iraq, Syria and Lebanon!

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Previous governments from 2003 until now have been involved in thefts and killings only.

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We need to get rid of the militias.

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It was the treacherous, failing politicians whose belonging is to the West who destroyed Iraq. Cursed with all countries, except for one neighbouring country that betrayed the good-neighbourly relations and keeps in intervening in Iraq’s internal affairs. Yet, Iraq is still fighting for its existence. It’s strong, and will always be strong with all that is taking place. From here, I call on our heroes in the Popular Mobilisation Forces who believe in a united Iraq to take sides with the government and the people. I urge them to work with the other government bodies and security agencies to cut the hands of invaders who are trying to distort these strong Popular Mobilisation Forces. This is as per the call of the leader and commander of millions of believers, al-Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr. Iraq is a strong state with its army, people, police and good people who want reform. The reform of this dear country is the responsibility of all of us. Don’t destroy Iraq. If you do, you’ll be lost. Hold fast and stand shoulder to shoulder with the men who want good for us as Iraqis living under the high-rising flag of our country which all countries are dreaming of. Iraq has always been victorious. Nobody can defeat Iraq however long the fighting will be with the ... in other countries that don’t want to see Iraq prospering and living like all other countries. If Iraq lives like all other countries, it will show them their evil as they did to us and cause us evidence and fighting.

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O, people, wake up! From 2003 to 2020, America has been eating us. America wants to destroy the people, divide the army and Popular Mobilisation Forces. By God, we have become like a farce. Those who come to help us are controlling us. There are people who have been destroyed. Wake up! What’s wrong with you? America wants to pit the people against each other and for brother to fight brother, which had never happened before. Those are tails affiliated to them and Iran. Support the government and the Popular Mobilisation Forces and expel the political/religious parties from Iraq. What are they doing here anyway? Why don’t they go to their home country?!

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America and its malicious allies want Iraq to be another Libya. O, people of Iraq, wake up! The goal is to loot your wealth and pit you against each other.

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For 12 years, America and the coalition have destroyed Iraq and the people of Iraq; they have looted the oil, gas, gold, silver and ancient antiquities of Iraq. This is what America is doing in Iraq and the Middle East.

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