Baghdad, London- Informed Iraqi sources said that an armed confrontation was about to start between Iraqi army, which is trained and supported by US, and Popular Mobilization Forces militia, which is supported by Iran, when leaders from the PMF refused to follow commands by armed forces leadership.
An Iraqi MP, from the Shiite National Alliance, revealed that severe conflicts have lately erupted between Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and prominent leaders in the PMF, who refused to follow orders and official directives; thus, causing Al-Abadi to describe the situation as many armies within one army.
The MP, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that these conflicts led to a kind of estrangement between him and the PMF, which is consisted of Shiite armed factions, stressing that the US administration strongly supports Abadi’s stances, which proves his refusal to lose control over the armed militia.
He added, in a phone call with Asharq Al-Awsat, that the factions of the Popular Mobilization Forces do not follow the orders of the Prime Minister and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Dr. Haider Al-Abadi. However, he added, every faction follows the directives of its leader, which means that that the PMF neither follow a unified leadership, nor the directives of the Grand Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani, who issued the Islamic Jihad fatwa to defeat ISIS.
The Iraqi PM warned that there are factions that follow the leadership of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, head of popular mobilization committee, whereas Badr Organization follows the leadership of Hadi Al-Ameri, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq faction follows the leadership of Qais al-Khazali, al-Salam factions follow the leadership of Muqtada al-Sadr, and there is Kata’ib Hezbollah, or Iraqi Hezbollah Battalions. He said that all these factions, except for al-Salam faction, are affiliated with Iran and are led by Gen. Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.