Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Sadr Warns Iraq on Verge of Turning into ‘Lawless State’

Sadr Warns Iraq on Verge of Turning into ‘Lawless State’

Saturday, 7 September, 2019 - 05:45
Sadrist movement leader, Moqtada al-Sadr. (Reuters)

Sadrist movement leader, Moqtada al-Sadr, warned Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Friday that Iraq was on the verge of becoming a “lawless state”.

His remarks were in reference to the Popular Mobilization Forces’ announcement that it was establishing an air force directorate.

In a series of tweets, Sadr said the move was the beginning of the end of the government and the transformation of Iraq into a lawless state, adding that he was distancing himself from these developments.

Head of the security and defense parliamentary committee and a member of Sadr’s Sairoun parliamentary bloc, Mohammed Rida urged Abdul Mahdi to preserve the authority of the state and its military.

He warned that the PMF’s establishment of an air force undermines and weakens the state, “which is why we must put an end to the chaos of weapons.”

Meanwhile, a PMF source denied reports the Iran-backed forces were forming an air force.

PMF deputy chief Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes had announced Thursday the formation of the air force directorate, weeks after mounting air strikes against PMF locations in Baghdad and other provinces that its officials have blamed on Israel.

An official letter said that Salah Mahdi Hantoush was appointed acting head of the directorate.

Sairoun MP Burhan al-Maamouri told Asharq Al-Awsat that Sadr’s tweets do not mean that he was quitting the government or withdrawing confidence from it.

On the contrary, his statements favor the government because they grant it the power to act to protect the country and its state institutions, he explained.

The PM must be the sole authority that controls fateful decisions and he must confront moves that undermine his power, he stressed.

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