ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Deputy Commander of the Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi has said the group would not hesitate to highlight Iran’s role and support for the Shia militias in Iraq.
Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the Deputy Commander of the Hashd al-Shaabi, also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), made the remarks at a festival for the militia group in Najaf.
He claimed that there were “certain people trying to steal recognition” for the victory against the Islamic State (IS), while also praising Iran’s role in supporting the PMF since 2014.
“I will not shy away from mentioning the support of the Islamic Republic of Iran in terms of weapons, advising, and planning,” Muhandis stated.
“It was Iran who organized the plan to regain control and secure the Samara road [from IS extremists], including providing us with drones and air cover with Sukhoi fighter jets,” he revealed.
The PMF Deputy Commander noted that the US-led coalition against IS had not provided the Shia militias with any weapons, “therefore, the Hashd al-Shaabi will not hesitate to mention Iranian support during the war against terror.”
“Where was the coalition when Ramadi had fallen, and when Falluja was liberated?” Muhandis addressed the crowd.
“Hashd al-Shaabi still fights terror while Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are now pledging thousands of dollars for the purpose of destructing Iraq,” the Deputy Commander stated, referring to the Gulf states' recent support for the reconstruction of Iraq.
Washington has voiced its concern regarding the presence of Iran in Iraq, especially Tehran’s meddling in Iraqi politics. US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on Thursday charged that Iran was using financial means “to sway candidates [and] to sway votes” in the upcoming Iraqi elections.
“It’s not an insignificant amount of money, and we think it’s highly unhelpful,” he said.
Editing by Karzan Suliavany