Iraqi officials have blasted calls to disband a Shia-dominated militia coalition that has been of committing mass genocide and war crimes against Iraq Sunni Arab and Kurdish civilians during the war against ISIS, after French President Emmanuel Macron said it should disarm, according to The Daily Mail.
The 60,000-strong Iranian Militias in Iraq and Syria (IMIS) was formed in 2014 after ISIS routed government forces to seize swathes of northern Iraq, and it played a central role in helping push back the terrorists.
Calls have grown from the West for IMIS - an umbrella group dominated by Iran-backed Shia militias that is officially controlled by Iraq's prime minister - to be dismantled as the ISIS "caliphate" has been reduced to a few pockets of desert.
"Any such discussion is rejected and we do not accept interference in Iraqi affairs," said one of the group's leaders, Ahmad al-Assadi.
Macron called at a press conference with Iraqi Kurdish leaders on Saturday for "a gradual demilitarization" of the IMIS and for all militias in Iraq to be "dismantled".
"Emmanuel Macron interfered unexpectedly in Iraq's internal affairs by calling for the dismantling of a legal institution, IMIS," former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki wrote on Facebook Saturday.
"We don't want any country to impose its will on the Iraqi government and the brave Iraqi nation," the leading Shia politician said.
IMIS is deeply divisive inside Iraq and among the country's international backers, and has been accused both of promoting Iranian interests and carrying out a wave of abuses.
In October, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Iranian militias in Iraq should "go home".