Emirati security team hatching conspiracy in Iraq, Asa’ib leader warns

Qais Khazali, the leader of the Iraqi anti-terror movement Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, has warned of a conspiracy against Iraq hatched by an Emirati security team which has reportedly arrived in the Arab country to manage the Iraqi intelligence service.

Quoting “reliable sources”, Khazali said on Sunday the Emirati team is supposed to run the Iraqi intelligence service.

“Has Iraq reached such a level of weakness to be crushed like this?” Khazali asked, questioning the Emirati group’s mission.

In a post on his Twitter account, the Iraqi cleric said, “What’s going on is very dangerous, and threatens the future of the Iraqi government.”

Scolding those who keep silent toward the conspiracies hatched against Iraq, he compared the performance of Emirati security forces to their performance in Libya and Yemen, and warned that they are rapidly implementing the plot.

He also referred to the transfer of 300 Iraqi security forces to the country’s customs points, and asked if the transfer is related to the Emirati team’s visit.

The security forces transferred to border areas upon a decision by the federal government allegedly include several Iraqi intelligence service officers who have been excluded for being loyal to the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), better known as Hashd al-Sha’abi.

The PMU is a government-sponsored umbrella organization composed of around 40 factions of volunteer counter-terrorism forces, including mostly Shia Muslim groups like Asa’ib, besides Sunni Muslims, Christians and Kurds.

The PMU’s formation goes back to the summer of 2014, shortly after Daesh, the world’s most notorious terror group, showed its face and managed to occupy swathes of territory in Iraq.

The lightning gains made by the terrorists caught the national army of Iraq off guard, pushing government forces to the verge of collapse and leaving the Arab state in disarray.

On June 15 that year, Iraq’s prominent Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani intervened to help rebuild the national army, issuing a fatwa that called on all Iraqi people to join forces with the army in the face of the Daesh threat.

The historic fatwa led to a mass mobilization of popular volunteer forces under the banner of Hashd al-Sha’abi. The force then rushed to the aid of the army and took the lead in many of the successful anti-terror operations, which ultimately led to the collapse of Daesh’s territorial rule and the liberation of the entire Iraqi land in December 2017.

The PMU’s efficient role in the Takfiri outfit’s defeat turned the force into a permanent and broadly-popular feature of Iraq’s social, political and security landscapes, despite attempts by the US and its allies to depict the PMU’s mission as sectarian in nature.

In November 2016, the Iraqi parliament recognized Hashd al-Sha’abi as an official force with similar rights as those of the regular army, therefore legally establishing it as part of the National Armed Forces.


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