Washington sees Iraq as front for Iran Pushback

He added, “We hope that he [Abadi] would talk through these conferences and visits, about the great role the PMU has played, as a security institution, especially after passing the law to legalize it.”

Asadi said the “PMU has become an independent military and security institution affiliated with the armed forces and directly linked to the commander in chief of the armed forces. The PMU will play a major role with the rest of the security services to build an integrated security system.”

However, Sheikh Qais al-Khazali, head of the League of the Righteous, another faction under the PMU, had a stronger message to relay. During his meeting with a group of tribal sheikhs and dignitaries March 23, he said, “The US aims to strengthen its influence in the areas west of Iraq and east of Syria and to start the partition project.”

He warned against what he considered a “dangerous conspiracy against the PMU,” saying, “We will not allow any attempt to dissolve or undermine the PMU.”

On the other hand, the National Alliance fears a new split [within the Shiite ranks] because of Abadi’s statements and positions in Washington, according to Alia Nassif, a member of parliament for the alliance.

“The alliance’s blocs will not rush to judge Abadi’s positions, and will seek to know how serious he is in his efforts to curb the PMU role and to submit to Trump’s policy facing Iran or to lean toward the US-Gulf axis. The coming weeks will tell where Abadi stands, and this is when the alliance will take a clear stance toward Abadi.”

“According to the information we have, the US intends to increase the number of its fighters in Iraq and that the American president is seeking to have access to the country’s oil in return for military support. Should Abadi approve that, major political chaos will erupt in Iraq,” she added.

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