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Iran Press TV

Iraqi prime minister names himself Hashd al-Sha'abi head

Iran Press TV

Mon Sep 3, 2018 01:45PM

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has declared himself the head of the pro-government Popular Mobilization Units, only a few days after he dismissed their former leader over alleged involvement in "political and partisan work."

The premier's office, in a statement released on Monday, announced that the commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces has visited the command center of the volunteer fighters – better known by their Arabic name as Hashd al-Sha'abi – to oversee the situation there.

"He (Abadi) lauded the hero fighters of the Hashd al-Sha'abi, their enormous sacrifices to achieve victory over terrorism in addition to their continued efforts to rebuild and reconstruct the country," the statement added.

The statement concluded, "He is keen on the rights of the fighters, and is willing to provide them with all forms of support."

Falih al-Fayyadh was removed from his post as head of Hashd al-Sha'abi on Friday with Abadi's office stating that the decision was taken due to his involvement in government formation talks, adding that this would undermine the performance of the country's security apparatus.

The decision has largely been attributed to the country's ongoing efforts to form a new government following parliamentary elections in May.

Senior cleric Muqtada Sadr's Sairoon bloc came first in the polls, while the Fatah (Conquest) Alliance led by Hadi al-Amiri, and Prime Minister Abadi's Nasr finished second and third.

Before Abadi's decision, reports surfaced alleging that Fayyadh was working with other heavyweight political groupings to establish the largest parliamentary bloc with expected influence in the make-up of the next government.

Abadi's office said Fayyadh's alleged involvement in government formation talks would undermine the performance of the country's security apparatus.

As an apparent answer to the prime minister's move, a number of Nasr's leaders have made Fayyadh their candidate for premiership, according to various media reports.

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