Saturday, October 21, 2017
   
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Abadi rejects al-Sadr call to dissolve Hashd al-Shaabi

Iraqi PM rules out merging controversial unit with army, a call made by Muqtada al-Sadr following visit to Saudi Arabia.

Hashd al-Shaabi, also known as the Badr militia

Haidar al-Abadi, Iraqi prime minister, has rejected a call by Muqtada al-Sadr, the oowerful Iraqi Shia leader, to dissolve a controversial militia involved in battling the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

Hashd al-Shaabi, a Shia unit alternatively called the Badr militia, was established in 2014 with the avowed purpose of fighting ISIL, also known as ISIS, after it captured vast expanses of territory in northern and western Iraq.

"The Hashd al-Shaabi … is for Iraq and will not be dissolved," Abadi said in the capital Baghdad on Saturday.

"The next phase after liberating the land from Daesh is the battle of the unity of word." Daesh is the Arabic term for ISIL.

Hashd al-Shaabi has faced accusations of abuses against civilians in Sunni-majority areas.

Last month, the Iraqi army recaptured Mosul, the country's second largest city, from ISIL, which overran the city in 2014.

Speaking to supporters on Friday, Sadr called for dissolving Hashd al-Shaabi and absorbing its fighters in the Iraqi army.

Sadr issued the statement after his visit to Saudi Arabia, where he held talks with the kingdom's leadership.

He met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah and discussed issues of common interest, Reuters news agency reported on July 30.

Anti-American figure

The visit came with the Arab Gulf region embroiled in its worst crisis in years - a row between Qatar and four Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia which severed ties with Qatar.

Sadr, an anti-American figure, commands a large following among the urban poor of Baghdad and the southern cities, including Saraya al-Salam, or Peace Brigades militia.

He is now seen as a nationalist who has repeatedly called for protests against corruption in the Iraqi government, and his supporters have staged huge protests in Baghdad calling for electoral reform.

On Thursday, Sadr issued a new call for protests in Baghdad and other cities to denounce "corrupt politicians" and demand reforms.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, met Sadr


blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

Palestinian official: Unity deal wi...

Read More

Israel closes Palestinian media gro...

Read More

Dying Palestinian teen longs for im...

Read More

Khamenei hailed European position o...

Read More

Iraq's military declares mission ac...

Read More

Qatar accuses Saudi Arabia of promo...

Read More

Global_News

Shia mosques targeted in separate attacks, with at least 30 people killed in Kabul and up to 10 more in Ghor province.

Read More

Donation

Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:

Featured_Author

Login






Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Week in Pictures

Diwali: The festival of lights

Is it autumn yet in Europe?