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

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced that 40,000 Sunnis will join the mostly Shiite Popular Mobilization Units, fueling speculation that the new balance could lead to formation of a National Guard.

BAGHDAD — 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 Beiji 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.”

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