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Iraqi Forces Raid Iranian-backed Faction in Baghdad as Militia Leader Threatens Iraq's PM

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Iraq’s Counter-Terrorism Agency has announced that it arrested 13 members of an armed faction, along with their leader, during a nighttime operation south of the capital Baghdad.

The National Iraqi News Agency, NINA, reported that the agency said the arrests had taken place in the Al-Durah area, south of Baghdad. The agency also seized a missile workshop that was used to produce missiles fired on the Green Zone – Baghdad’s secure government zone in the center of the city, established after the 2003 war – and Iraqi camps hosting the international coalition.

Iraqi officials and paramilitary sources also said security forces raided the headquarters of an Iranian-backed faction in southern Baghdad, late on 25 June, arresting more than ten members, according to Reuters.

Ahmad Al-Asadi, the official spokesman for the Al-Fatah Coalition parliamentary bloc, demanded the release of those arrested by the Counter-Terrorism Agency's forces, as well as the withdrawal of the Popular Mobilization Forces from the Green Zone, according to NINA.

For his part, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi confirmed in a tweet that he is not a member of a party or a specific bloc, and that his only task is to fulfill the people's demand for fair elections, adding that he will not allow anyone to threaten to destroy the state.

Al-Kadhimi also said he would be strict with armed factions targeting American facilities.

Al-Kadhimi continued: "We must not allow interventions that threaten Iraqi sovereignty or the social fabric of Iraq, and we will not allow the escapades of foreign parties within Iraq. We should note that billions of dollars are lost annually at border crossings, and sometimes gangs, groups, bandits, and influential people are controlling these crossings at the expense of the state. Soon there will be a campaign to take back these crossings."



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