Iraq summons Saudi ambassador over meddlesome remarks
By: Ismail Zabeeh
BAGHDAD, Iraq: The Iraqi Foreign Ministry has summoned the Saudi
ambassador to protest his meddlesome remarks about Baghdad’s
campaign against terrorists.
“This constitutes…a breach of diplomatic protocol and is based on
inaccurate information,” the ministry said in a statement about
Saudi envoy Thamer al-Sabhan’s remarks.
In a televised interview aired by al-Sumeria satellite television on
Saturday, the Saudi ambassador claimed that sectarianism and
tribalism were the driving force behind the Iraqi government’s
arming volunteer forces known as the Popular Mobilization Forces or
Hashid Shaabi. He had also alleged that the Iraqi volunteer forces
are not popular among Iraqi people.
“The Hashid Shaabi are fighting terrorism and defending the
country’s sovereignty and acting under the umbrella and command of
the commander-in-chief of the armed forces,” the statement said.
Iraqi Transport Minister Baqir Jabr al-Zubeidi has also strongly
denounced Saudi ambassador’s recent remarks, calling them a flagrant
interference in Iraq’s internal affairs.
He added that the Popular Mobilization Units have so far liberated
at least 170 villages from Daesh militants while hundreds of its
forces have been martyred or wounded in anti-terror operations.
In a statement on Saturday, Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units
spokesman, Ahmed al-Assadi, described Saudi Arabia as a supporter of
Al-Assadi called on the central government in Baghdad to expel Saudi
Arabia’s ambassador for instigating sedition and insulting the Iraqi
people, saying al-Sabhan has “exceeded all the limits.”
“His comments against volunteer forces, the government, and the
majority of the Iraqi people only make Iraq more determined in
uprooting terror groups such as Daesh and fighting their supporters
and financial backers inside and outside the country,” Al-Assadi
The Popular Mobilization Units, which were formed after the rise of
Daesh in Iraq in 2014, have joined forces with the army to win back
Violence has plagued the northern and western parts of Iraq ever
since Daesh terrorists launched an offensive, and took control of
parts of the Iraqi territory.
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