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Iraqi PM Settles Participation of PMF in Mosul Liberation Battle | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraqi security forces and Popular Mobilisation units, pictured in the Makhoul mountains during a military operation against Islamic State (IS) fighters in October 2015 AFP /Ahmad Al-Rubaye

Baghdad – Despite an ongoing debate and the disapproval of the Mosul Council, Iraqi Prime Minister and Commander of Armed Forces Haidar al-Abadi announced incorporating 15,000 citizens of Mosul with the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Mosul’s liberation operation.

PMF spokesperson Ahmad al-Asadi announced on Friday that the prime minister ordered that 15,000 fighters from Mosul be added to the PMF to participate in liberating Mosul.

Minister of Defense Khalid al-Obaidi discussed with Secretary General of Badr Organization Hadi al-Amiri the preparations for liberating Mosul and the role of militias.

The ministry of defense issued a statement saying that Obaidi visited Amiri and both discussed the security and military plans to liberate Mosul.

Head of Nineveh Council Bashar Kiki told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the council respects the PM’s decision, but has previously rejected PMF’s participation in liberating Mosul. He added that the council has made it clear that the people of Mosul have the capabilities to liberate their governorate.

He said adding 15,000 members to the PMF should come as a support to the security forces. Kiki stated that local police should be supported and armed as well.

In February 2016, Nineveh Council rejected the decision to include PMF in the liberation of Mosul.

Former Nineveh governor and leader at United Bloc Atheel al-Nujaifi told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that all of Mosul’s citizens are ready and capable of fighting to take control of their city. He added that they do not aim to create strife like in other governorates.

According to Nujaifi, certain political leaders are insisting on the participation of PMF due to Iranian influence. He went on to say that this could turn Mosul into an arena for settling international conflicts; something Nineveh doesn’t need.

Nujaifi was referring in his statement to the Iranian-Turkish conflict.

Earlier, Head of PMF Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis said that Mosul won’t be left for Turkey.

PMF affiliated media outlets said Muhandis confirmed that PMF will participate in the liberation operations of Sherqat and Mosul. In his statement, Muhandis said the PMF is fully equipped and ready to partake in the plan especially after the approval of the Commander of the Armed Forces.

Muhandis stressed that PMF will not allow, under any circumstance, for Nineveh to become a stronghold of terrorists, Baathists and Turks.