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Iraq President Intervenes in Hikma, Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq Spat

Iraq President Intervenes in Hikma, Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq Spat

Sunday, 13 January, 2019 - 10:00
Iraqi President Barham Salih. (Reuters)
Baghdad - Hamza Mustafa
Iraqi President Barham Salih has succeeded in easing tensions between the National Wisdom Movement (Hikma) led by Ammar al-Hakim and Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) headed by Sheikh Qais al-Khazali, an official source in the presidency told Asharq Al-Awsat Sunday.

The dispute had erupted earlier this week after a report broadcast by the Hikma-linked Al Forat satellite television network on the involvement of an AAH member in the assassination of Imad Jabar, the owner of the Laymounah restaurant, in the city of Sadr, east of Baghdad.

The source said that the two sides were receptive to Salih’s initiative that called for stopping media campaigns against each other. He also proposed postponing rallies that the Hikma movement had planned to stage.

Salih took the initiative in order to avoid dragging political powers in side disputes at a time when the government lineup was still incomplete, months after parliamentary elections were held.

Hikma official Baleegh Abou Kalal confirmed that the demonstrations were postponed at the president’s request.

AAH MP Naim al-Aboudi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the movement has formed a committee to follow up on the implementation of Salih’s initiative and uncover the truth behind the Jabar’s assassination.

Another committee was formed to address the situation at the Baiji refinery.

Hikma media outlets had accused the AAH of robbing equipment at the facility.

Aboudi explained that the committee would be tasked with communicating with the ministries of defense and interior to reveal the truth in the case. He said that the equipment has been handed over to the oil ministry.

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