The leader of an anti-terror Iraqi group says the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), better known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, thwarted the enemies’ plots against the Arab country and that the popular force will continue to fight American-Zionist terrorism in Iraq.
Akram al-Ka’abi, the secretary general of Iraq’s Harakat al-Nujaba movement, which is part of Hashd al-Sha’abi, made the comment in a statement on Monday on the eighth anniversary of the establishment of the popular anti-terror force.
“On this auspicious day, the plot of the big powers with their extortionate spending and their various support for terrorist groups to occupy, disintegrate and commit genocide against the children of Iraq failed,” Ka’abi said.
“Their efforts failed and God returned their plot to them. The righteous sons of Iraq stood up and rolled up their sleeves and obeyed the fatwa and the call for dignity; they sacrificed their pure blood and souls for the nation’s faith and soil, and displayed the most beautiful images of bravery and manhood.”
On June 15, 2014, Iraq’s prominent Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa that called on all Iraqi people to join forces with the army to confront Daesh.
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 liberation of the entire Iraqi land in December 2017.
Commending as a “valuable achievement” the PMU’s establishment, Ka’abi said, “The world should know that the valiant Iraqi heroes will always stand against the bouts of terrorism — spawned by the United States and Zionism — and will be a shield against evil forces and the Takfiris.”
‘PMU is an Ummah’
Falih al-Fayyadh, the head of the PMU, also praised in a televised speech on Monday the establishment of the popular anti-terror force.
“We carry the weapon of truth, and this weapon is a tool to protect the country, human freedom and dignity,” Fayyadh said.
“There are those who are trying to turn Hashd al-Sha’abi into a temporary phenomenon in Iraq in order to bring back the conspiracies against the country, but the PMU is an Ummah because of the fatwa of the religious authority.”
Fayyadh stressed that the PMU is a rebellious establishment against corruption, slavery and humiliation, adding it accepts nothing but an Iraq ruling itself.
Hashd al-Sha’abi is an Iraqi government-sponsored umbrella organization composed of around 40 factions of volunteer counter-terrorism forces, including mostly Shia Muslims besides Sunni Muslims, Christians and Kurds.
Its formation goes back to the summer of 2014, shortly after Daesh, the world’s most notorious terror group, managed to occupy large swathes of territory in Iraq.
The lightning gains made by the terrorists caught Iraq’s national army off guard, pushing government forces to the verge of collapse and leaving the Arab state in disarray.
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.
The US views the popular force as a threat, having long been seeking to dissolve it and constrain its role. It has also targeted Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters in a bid to resurrect Daesh.