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Iraqi PM Issues Decree Aimed at Restraining Iran-Backed Militia
Members of the the Popular Mobilization Forces gather in Baghdad to honor Iranian fighters who died fighting the Islamic State. (Ameer Al Mohammedaw/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Iraqi PM Issues Decree Aimed at Restraining Iran-Backed Militia

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi issued a decree on Monday demanding that a powerful Iran-backed Shi’ite militia further integrate itself into the country’s formal armed forces. “In the interest of the public good and as per the powers granted to us by the constitution… the following is decreed: All Popular Mobilization Forces are to operate as an indivisible part of the armed forces and be subject to the same regulations,” the decree said. The edict was made following several unclaimed attacks on bases in Iraq hosting US troops, as well as a surprise visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in May, when he told Iraqi leaders that the United States would respond with force if they could not keep the militias in check. The State Department had ordered the evacuation of all “non-emergency” government employees from Iraq that month. Washington and Tehran have been in a war of words ever since the former withdrew from the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal last year and reimposed sanctions on the latter. Tensions have further flared over recent attacks against US allies in the Gulf.

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