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Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces join army ranks

Members of the Hashed al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), paramilitaries stand guard during a funerary procession for Wissam Alyawi, a leading commander of the Asaib Ahl Al-Haq faction that is part of the PMF, in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on October 26, 2019. [AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images]
Members of the Hashed al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on October 26, 2019. [AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images]

Iraq's Shia Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) has been incorporated into the country's security forces following a decision by Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi, a government official said.

Al-Abadi's spokesman, Saad Al-Hadithi, told the Anadolu Agency that the decision establishes the PMF as an independent military formation and a part of the Iraqi armed forces.

The decision states that the "PMF will act in a manner comparable to the current counterterrorism apparatus, in terms of organisation and affiliation." Iraq's counterterrorism force, known as the Golden Division, skirts the military chain of command and reports directly to Iraq's prime minister.

The decision notes that the new official "military formation" will be manned by the PMF's "staff, brigades, and members."

According to the decision, the PMF "will be cut from all political, party and social frameworks, and political work will be prohibited in its ranks."

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