Iraqi sources say the US forces deployed in the country are forcing tribal leaders who had been fighting for ISIL to spy on Hashd al-Shaabi (popular forces) in al-Anbar province in Western Iraq.
The Arabic-language al-Ma’aloumeh news website quoted a high-ranking source in al-Anbar as saying on Friday that the US forces stationed in the region have restarted espionage operations to collect intelligence from a number of Hashd al-Shaabi commanders in al-Anbar and their bases in the region.
He added that the US military men have forced a number of Iraqi tribal leaders who had earlier joined the ISIL either to surrender to the security forces or work for the Americans as secret spies.
A commander of Hashd al-Shaabi in al-Anbar province had in December revealed that the US military forces are spying on them at bordering areas with Syria, warning that the popular forces would take action if they trace any threat to their nation.
The Arabic-language al-Ma’aloumeh news website quoted Qassem Moslih, the Iraqi popular forces’ commander in Western al-Anbar, as saying that the US forces flew different types of planes over the Iraq-Syria bordering areas, spying on Hashd al-Shaabi.
He added that 20,000 Hashd al-Shaabi forces were deployed near the border with Syria from al-Qa’em to Southern Iraq near Jordan, stressing that they were prepared to confront any threats against the country.
Iraqi sources had also warned in September that the US military had widened its buildup in bordering areas between Iraq and Syria.