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Iraq PM curbs powers of Iran-backed armed groups

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Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi issued on Monday a decree heavily curbing the powers of mostly Iran-backed Shiite armed groups and forcing them to further integrate into the country's formal armed forces.
The groups have a lot of influence in Iraqi politics.
Abdul Mahdi's decree integrates paramilitary units into the military and forces groups to pick between political or military activity. Groups have until July 31 to abide by the new regulations, the decree said.
Following the announcement, the influential Shiite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr announced on Monday the dissolution of his armed wing — Saraya Al-Salam — and ordered the closure of its headquarters, cancellation of its names and its re-association with the Iraqi official security establishment.
What was issued by the prime minister relating the Shia militias is an important decision and a correct step towards building a strong state, Al-Sadr said in a statement.
“What I care about is that Saraya Al-Salam — which I established — would be the first one to apply this decision, hence, I announce that I completely disassociate myself from it,” he added.
Last Modified: Tuesday، 02 July 2019 02:45 PM
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