Sadr Orders Fighters to Hand Over Arms to State

Sadr Orders Fighters to Hand Over Arms to State

Tuesday, 12 December, 2017 - 07:15
Muqtada Sadr. Alaa al-Marjani/Reuters
Baghdad - Asharq Al-Awsat
Head of the Sadrist Movement Moqtada Sadr ordered on Monday his affiliated Saraya al-Salam brigade to hand over their arms to the state and he indirectly demanded the questioning of former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for the fall of Mosul.

Speaking from Najaf, Sadr suggested transforming the Saraya al-Salam to a service organization, and called on the brigade’s fighters to hand over weapons they had received from the state to the Iraqi government and leave liberated areas for the Iraqi army to control.

Sadr's Saraya al-Salam, or Peace Brigades is a paramilitia operating under the umbrella of the "Hashd al-Shaabi" in Iraq.

The Iraqi cleric warned that no party should run under the banner of the "Hashd al-Shaabi" in the country’s upcoming elections.

He added that the central government should “remove uncontrollable elements” in the Iraqi security forces, and “punish those responsible” in human rights violations during the fight against ISIS.

Sadr also requested that government to reopen the cases of the fall of Mosul in 2014 to ISIS and the Camp "Speicher" massacre in Tikrit where an estimated 1,700 Iraqi soldiers were mass killed by ISIS in June 2014.

Maliki is considered as the first suspect in this case.

Although “Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas” brigade announced two days ago it was dismantling itself, the fate of the armed factions, which are part of the "Hashd al-Shaabi", remains the main concern of all Iraqi parties.

Several observers still ignore how the operation of dismantling those groups would exactly be achieved, particularly that some factions say that their military wings are legitimately related to the State under the umbrella of the official “Hash al-Shaabi.”

For his part, Safa Tamimi, spokesperson for Saraya al-Salam told Asharq Al-Awsat that the arms used by the Saray in its war against ISIS was originally owned by the State and therefore, those weapons will be returned to the state.

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