Iraq: Armed Factions Accuse Anbar Commander of 'High Treason'
Iraqi Commander of operations in al-Anbar province Mahmoud al-Falahi was recorded in recently-leaked audio talking to who he said was a CIA agent. In the audio, he disclosed information on military bases and locations of Popular Mobilizations Forces (PMF) in western Iraq.
The audio also revealed that the Iraqi official was asked to provide geographic coordinates of existing PMF military bases especially of ''Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades'' and al-Nujbaa to be attacked by US and Israeli forces.
Iraqi Defense Minister Maj. Gen Najah al-Shammari ordered the establishment of a commission of inquiry after the recordings were published.
The Security and Defense Parliamentary Committee called for the formation of a committee to investigate the veracity of the leaks, and some members even pointed that Falahi might face the death penalty if the recordings were proven to be true.
''Hezbollah Brigades'' attacked Falahi accusing him of “high treason”, adding that some parties close to the commander and US embassy are trying to stoke sectarianism.
Brigades’ spokesman Mohammed Mohiuddin asserted that evidence is clear of Falahi’s involvement.
Mohiuddin said that ''Hezbollah Brigades'' expect the US Embassy to question what has been published and adding that the case of commander Falahi involves treason, espionage and conspiring against the Iraqi people.
Falahi’s silence on the accusations does not mean he is unable to respond, but because he has been instructed by the Defense Ministry to remain silent until the investigation results are released, according to a source close to Anbar Operations Command.
The source, who preferred not to be named, said that the recording is fabricated by well-known parties that seek to extend their influence over Anbar areas, especially in the west.
He indicated that the commander of the operations regularly meets with US leaders to coordinate with them on security issues in Anbar and the border with Syria and Jordan, therefore he does not need to contact intelligence agents.
The source believes the issue is that certain factions and PMF brigades are trying to take over al-Nukhayb Airport and other vital areas west of Anbar to facilitate the movement and transit to Syria, which was not allowed by Falahi.
Anbar MP Adel al-Mahallawi condemned the “offensive fabrications” and desperate attempts to undermine the army and its leaders.
He said that in recent days, a number of "unacceptable" statements were issued against the army and its leaders. He praised the military and its efforts, asserting that any offense against it is directed at all Iraqis.
The MP called on all political forces and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces to take firm stances against anyone trying to weaken the military for "evil" and "suspicious" purposes supported by foreign parties that are aiming to target the security and stability of the country.