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After Mosul battle, is Syria next for PMU?

As the liberation of Mosul nears, the Popular Mobilization Units announced that they have received an invitation from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to fight in Syria.
Iraqi Sunni Muslim fighters from Hashid Shaabi (Popular Mobilization) take part in a parade during a ceremony marking the Iraqi Police Day at Amiriyat al-Fallujah in Anbar province, January 9, 2016. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani - RTX21NHG

BAGHDAD — On Nov. 10, the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) announced they blocked the road between Mosul and Raqqa, thus cutting the supply lines between the cities claimed by the Islamic State (IS) as its capitals. Days later, on Nov. 16, Hadi al-Amiri, a prominent PMU leader and the head of the Badr Organization, said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had called on the PMU to enter Syria after liberating the Iraqi territories.

Calls for the PMU to intervene in Syria are not new, as many PMU spokesmen had previously mentioned this possibility when the operations to liberate Mosul first started in October. Now, however, the Syrian regime itself — and its direct leadership in particular — has called on the PMU’s intervention, which means that the sectarian war in the Middle East is entering a new phase.

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