It’s official: Sunnis joining Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units

Mustafa Saadoun reports: Sunnis are saying “sign me up” now that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has approved the appointment of 40,000 Sunni fighters to the Popular Mobilization Units, a force that was once almost exclusively Shiite.

Samer al-Hamdani, who in 2014 fled from Baiji in northern Iraq to Baghdad, says he is ready to return to his liberated city and join up. He told Al-Monitor, “It is essential for the Popular Mobilization Units to include Iraqis of all spectra for it to become a national institution able to earn everybody’s approval and respect, away from sectarian labels.”

He added, “The presence of 40,000 Sunni fighters creates an important and necessary balance within the Popular Mobilization Units. But we hope the politicians’ positions and statements avoid sectarian incitement, so as not to offend the [group], which must be excluded from interventions and conflicts between the political blocs.” [Continue reading…]

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