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US pushes Iraq to integrate Iran-backed PMU militias after strikes

The Donald Trump administration is calling on Iraq to demobilize Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Units after renewed rocket strikes hit near the US Embassy in Baghdad.
Members of the paramilitary Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) take part in their graduation ceremony at a military camp in Kerbala, Iraq August 30, 2019. REUTERS/Abdullah Dhiaa Al-Deen - RC1D99820E90

The Donald Trump administration is calling on Iraq to keep up efforts to demobilize Iranian-backed militias after a volley of rockets attributed to Popular Mobilization Units struck near the US Embassy Sept. 24 despite Baghdad’s efforts to rein in the groups.

In a statement provided to Al-Monitor, Mick Mulroy, deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East, expressed the Pentagon's concern that the militants are operating “semi-autonomously” and “destabilizing the liberated areas and prioritize extortion for personal gain over fighting ISIS.” The rocket attacks into Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone were the first such strikes since May.

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