US Seeking to Replace Iraq’s PMU in Anbar Province Bordering Syria: Analyst
- April, 27, 2020 - 16:02
- World news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An Iraqi military adviser and analyst said that the US is seeking to replace Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units in the western Anbar province bordering Syria with its own forces.
Speaking to Iraq’s al-Maloumah news agency on Sunday, Safa al-A’ssam said that Washington seeks to force the PMU out of the province’s al-Qaim border region by fanning sectarian tensions.
“The plan is to redeploy American forces to the al-Qaim region on the pretext of countering Deash terrorist attacks and filling the security vacuum following a PMU withdrawal,” he added, Press TV reported.
The PMU formed shortly after the emergence of the Daesh terrorist group in Iraq in mid-2014.
The group played a major role in pushing back and ultimately defeating the terrorist forces which had taken control of large swathes of the country.
The Iraqi parliament voted to integrate the PMU into the Iraqi military in 2016, effectively placing the force under the command of the prime minister and granting the group a standing similar to that of other branches of Iraqi security forces.
Fazel Jaber, an Iraqi lawmaker affiliated with the Fatah Alliance, has also warned of attempts by certain Iraqi groups to undermine the PMU’s presence in the province despite being deployed under the command of Iraq’s federal government.
He said the attempts to weaken the PMU were led by Washington, which fears the group’s presence.
The PMU has long rejected Washington’s military presence in the country as an obstacle impeding long-lasting security and stability in Iraq.
In January, Washington assassinated the group’s deputy commander, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, alongside Iran’s top anti-terror Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in the capital city Baghdad.
Iraqi resistance groups have vowed to take up arms against US forces if Washington fails to comply with a parliamentary order calling for the expulsion of US troops following the assassination.