Baghdad Surprised by Tillerson’s Claims About Foreign Fighters in Iraq
AFP 2017/ AHMAD AL-RUBAYEMiddle East17:22 23.10.2017(updated 17:28 23.10.2017) Get short URL5646120
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi has commented on Rex Tillerson’s statement concerning so-called “foreign fighters” in Iraq.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Baghdad is surprised by US State Secretary Rex Tillerson’s statements about “foreign fighters” fighting on the Iraqi side against terrorists, the press service of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi said in a statement on Monday, citing a source close to the prime minister.
“Militia fighters [mentioned by Tillerson] are Iraqis, Iraqi citizens, who sacrificed their lives to protect their country and people. They are subordinate to Iraqi authorities in line with the law,” the source was quoted as saying in the statement.
At a joint conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir in Riyadh on Sunday, Tillerson claimed that Iranian Shiite militias, as well as other foreign fighters, should leave Iraq since the fight against Daesh was coming to a close.
The Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF or Hashd Shaabi) is a state-sponsored militia integrated into the Iraqi Armed Forces. It has up to 100,000 members and has been subjected to criticism from Saudi Arabia and Turkey, among other Sunni states, for instigating sectarian discord in the areas liberated from Daesh, an allegation which has been repeatedly refuted by Baghdad.