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Iraq’s Allawi Urges Forming Unified Leadership for Armed Forces

Iraq’s Allawi Urges Forming Unified Leadership for Armed Forces

Sunday, 8 September, 2019 - 09:00
Iraq's Vice President Iyad Allawi smiles during an interview with Reuters in Baghdad September 14, 2014. A REUTERS/Ahmed Saad

Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Tahsin al-Khafaji, in a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat, confirmed that investigations into attacks targeting Popular Mobilization Forces are ongoing.

“The results will be announced once completed,” he said.

Regarding the PMF's weapons and equipment, Khafaji noted that “alternative stores for PMF weapons were secured under the supervision of the Ministry of Defense.” The PMF is an Iraqi state-sponsored umbrella organization composed of some 40 militias.

Former Vice President of Iraq, Ayad Allawi, urged the need to form a unified leadership for the country’s armed forces. His proposal, which diminishes the independent role of the PMF, was met with both support and opposition.

The strongest opposition put forth was by former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who rejected dissolving the PMF or even integrating it into the country’s police and army corps.

In a tweet, Allawi reaffirmed the need to “protect the prestige and reputation of the country and prevent the multiplicity of military forces because of possible serious negative repercussions.”

“The only solution is to form a general command of the armed forces, comprising representatives of the Peshmerga and the PMF, led by the commander in chief and his deputy minister of defense,” added Allawi, who also heads Al-Wataniya Coalition.

“There is no way for our stability except with one Iraq, one army, one decision, and one leadership,” he noted.

Maliki, for his part, warned against moving to dissolve the PMF, but emphasized the need to organize the group and keep it in check so that its actions don’t “place the state and citizens in a tight spot.”

Speaking on Allawi’s invitation to regroup and integrate the PMF, Iraq-based strategist and researcher Hussein Allawi said it was an important and honest call made and that the country’s security reform researchers have presented a similar proposition to the government.

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