18 January 2019 - 21:45
News ID: 443062
A
Analyst:
Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Rai al-Youm newspaper, underlined that Washington's hostile stance towards Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraqi Popular Forces) and its quest for dismantling popular groups in the Arab state derives from their opposition to the US forces' occupation of Iraq.

RNA - "The US administration in an unprecedented demand called on the Iraqi government on Tuesday to dissolve 67 groups operating in the framework of the Iraqi popular forces, while all these groups were welcomed by Washington when they were fighting against the ISIL alongside the US forces. Then what has changed now," Atwan wrote on Wednesday.

Noting that Iraq's security and national identity is gradually reviving, he said that Hashd al-Shaabi forces or their leaders have demanded withdrawal of all the 5,500 US military troops from Iraq and are opposed to the US use of military bases in Iraq for possible attacks against Syria and Iran.

Atwan added that Hashd al-Shaabi is also hostile to Israel and is in clear solidarity with Syria, which is another reason for the US enmity.

Hashd al-Shaabi has helped the Iraqi and Syrian governments to fight against the terrorist groups for several years now.

A senior commander of Iraq's Hashd Al-Sha'abi in al-Anbar province underlinedon Wednesday that the US Army had been spying on security units along borders with Syria in favor of the ISIL terrorist group, and dismissed the media reports on the American troops' pullout from Syria.

"The US Army has been trying to obtain intelligence from Hashd al-Sha'abi along Iraq-Syria borders to inform the ISIL terrorists stationed in Hajin and Souseh in Syria about the Iraqi popular forces' movements," the Arabic-language Al-Maloumeh news website quoted Qassim Muslih, the commander of Hashd al-Shaabi forces in al-Anbar province, as saying.

According to Fars News Agancy, the Iraqi popular forces commander reiterated that after the US Army's attempt, Hashd al-Sha'abi has reinforced its positions along borders with Syria in a move to confront any unprecedented incident.

Elsewhere, Muslih rejected the US troops' pullout from Syria, and said that the US Army has recently dispatched massive military equipment and troops from Iraq to Syria.

He also pointed to the coordination between Iraqi and Syrian sides in combating terrorists in the region, and said, "We are waiting for the order of the Iraqi Command to cross into Syria to cleanse the surrounding areas of Iraq's border and prevent the ISIL terrorists from crossing the border.

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Tags: Hashd Iraq US ISIL
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