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Iraqi decision to remove Shabak PMU from Ninevah Plains stirs conflict

A dispute over the presence of Popular Mobilization Units in the Ninevah Plains raises concerns about the recurrence of conflict in the area.
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ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan — Despite Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi's order for the Popular Mobilization Units to leave the Ninevah Plains, the 30th Brigade refuses to abandon an area there on the eastern edge of Mosul. The militia instead is cutting off roads in protest against Abdul Mahdi's order.

Pro-PMU lawmaker Qusay al-Shabaki told Reuters on Aug. 29, “We will stay in the area to protect our people.” This is while the Sunni and Kurdish opposition to the PMU presence in the area is growing. “The PMU is the main power in Ninevah province now — the army has become a secondary force,” Kurdish member of parliament Shirwan Dubardani told Reuters.

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