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Monday, 23 October 2017

Iraq dismisses US call for Iranian-backed militias to ‘go home’

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi
The Iraqi government has dismissed a call from US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for Iranian-backed paramilitary units that helped Baghdad defeat ISIS to end operations in Iraq.

Speaking after a meeting on Sunday with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, Tillerson said it was time for the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) militias and their Iranian advisers to “go home”.

Washington, which backed Baghdad against ISIS, is concerned Iran will use its expanded presence in Iraq and in Syria to expand its influence in the region.

But Abadi showed unwillingness to meet Tillerson’s demand.

“No party has the right to interfere in Iraqi matters,” the statement from his office read. It did not cite the prime minister himself but a “source” close to him.
 [alarabiya.net]
 23/10/17
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