Iraqi PM Orders Integration of PMF into Military

Tuesday, 2 July, 2019 - 05:15
Baghdad – Hamza Mustafa

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi issued on Monday a decree ordering the integration of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) into the military.

“In the interest of the public good and as per the powers granted to us by the constitution ... the following is decreed: all Popular Mobilization Forces are to operate as an indivisible part of the armed forces and be subject to the same regulations,” the decree said.

He also ordered that groups that are not affiliated with the PMF to choose between joining political work or face prosecution.

Those who choose to integrate into the military must abandon their old names and sever ties to political groups. Those who choose politics will not be allowed to carry weapons, the decree said. Headquarters, economic offices and checkpoints manned by militias are to be shut down.

Groups have until July 31 to abide by the new regulations. Those that do not will be considered outlaws.

The PMF already reports to the prime minister, who is the commander-in-chief of Iraq’s armed forces, but Abdul Mahdi’s decree forces groups that make up the PMF to choose between political and paramilitary activity.

Monday’s decree was announced a day after the president, speaker and PM agreed to limit the possession of weapons in Iraq to the state.

It was also issued after rioters stormed the Bahraini embassy in Baghdad last week in protest against Manama’s hosting of an economic workshop as part of the United States yet unveiled peace plan for the Middle East.

Read More ...