Iraq parliament recognizes Shia militia

Shia militia has been accused in the past of committing rights violations against Sunnis

Iraq parliament recognizes Shia militia

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Iraqi parliament Saturday voted to recognize the Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militia as an official force. 

Some 208 MPs of the 328-seat parliament attended Saturday’s vote, which was boycotted by Sunni lawmakers. 

“The security and defense committee with the participation of relevant panels has managed to issue the Hashd al-Shaabi legislation,” lawmaker Hakim al-Zamli told reporters. 

He called on the government to finalize the structure and appointments of the militia leaders. 

Established in 2014, the Hashd al-Shaabi is an umbrella group of pro-government Shia militias drawn up with the purpose of fighting the ISIL terrorist group. 

“The Council of Representatives (parliament) has fulfilled its responsibility toward the mujahideen (fighters),” Ammar al-Hakim, the head of the Shia National Alliance, the largest bloc in parliament, said. 

Saturday’s vote came despite a call by the Iraqi cabinet for withdrawing the bill for further study. 

Al-Hashd al-Shaabi has been controversial, since the Shia militia has been accused in the past of committing rights violations against Sunni-Muslim populations in areas taken from ISIL, including Iraq’s western city of Fallujah. 

Iraq’s security situation has deteriorated markedly since mid-2014, when ISIL captured Mosul -- Iraq’s second largest city -- and overran large swathes of territory in the country’s northern and western regions.

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Last Mod: 27 Kasım 2016, 10:21
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