PMF members should stop bombings, assassinations: Sadr

Shia cleric and political leader Muqtada al-Sadr (File)

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SULAIMANI — Shia cleric and political leader Muqtada al-Sadr on Wednesday (September 23) called on the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) to stop engaging in bombings and assassinations, so that Iraq does not become a battleground for proxy conflict.

Sadr said in a tweet that attacks perpetrated by some PMF factions are weakening Iraq, its people, and the state, while strengthening foreign powers like the US.

“It is necessary to strive with wisdom and prudence to end making Iraq an arena for the struggle of others,” Sadr said.

“Let us strive together for the independence of Iraq, its sovereignty, and its safety, otherwise we will lose Iraq,” he added.

"We renew the demand for non-interference in Iraq's internal affairs from all parties.”

He also called on the “Mujahedeen” to distance itself from politics, in order to preserve its reputation and history.

Formally organized in 2014 to combat Islamic State (ISIS), the PMF is an umbrella group for a diverse range of militia groups, including some who are closely aligned with Iraq’s top Shia leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and others that hew closely to directions from Iran.

They have been blamed for rocket attacks on the Green Zone and Baghdad International Airport and a rash of recent bombings of contractor convoys supplying Coalition troops, as well as the assassinations of activists and other critical voices, including security researcher Hisham al-Hashemi.

(NRT Digital Media)