ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A spokesperson for the Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militia on Saturday claimed the US had tried to weaken the group but failed, vowing they would remain an active institution in Iraq.
Hashim al-Musawi, the spokesperson of the Hashd al-Shaabi’s Harakat al-Nujaba, claimed the US “did not have permission” to ask for the disarmament of any military institution which belonged to the Iraqi state.
“We consider the US statements provocative and interference in Iraqi affairs as the US does not have any guardianship or jurisdiction over any Iraqi institution,” Musawi said.
“The US cannot demand disarmament from any institution which belongs to the state, particularly the Hashd al-Shaabi as it takes its orders from the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces,” he added, referring to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
Pentagon spokesperson Eric Pahon recently stated that Washington had sold the M1 Abrams tanks to the Iraqi government, but had “not provided defense articles to the Shia Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), which are part of the Iraqi security forces by law.”
Hadi al-Amiri, another Hashd al-Shaabi spokesperson and Head of the al-Badr Organization, said the US was aware the PMF used the Abrams tanks in the fight against the Islamic State (IS).
“The US has made every attempt to weaken the Hashd al-Shaabi, but it has failed in all of them,” Amiri said during a speech in Dhi Qar Province.
He added that the PMF would remain “a strong institution as a guardian for Iraq’s safety, unity, and future.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany