BAGHDAD (Press TV) – An Iraqi legislator and leader of the State of Law Coalition has denounced the recent raid on a headquarters of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), better known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Sha’abi, in southern Baghdad, saying the United States is seeking to prolong its military presence in the country through such bids.
"The U.S. is looking for an excuse to extend the deployment of its military forces in Iraq by means of provocative acts against Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters and assaults on their headquarters,” Mohammed al-Sahyoud said in an exclusive interview with Arabic-language al-Maalomah news agency on Tuesday.
He added, "We must stand committed to the PMU and the resistance front as two main and matchless options in order to strengthen state bodies and counter the challenges being posed by the United States against the political process in Iraq.”
"Our commitment to the PMU and Islamic resistance groups will frustrate U.S. schemes and those of its agents, who are trying to overthrow the political process in the country,” Sahyoud pointed out.
In the unprecedented raid on June 25 against the headquarters of Kata’ib Hezbollah, a PMU faction, Iraqi forces arrested a dozen of its members for allegedly planning a rocket attack on Baghdad’s Green Zone, where the U.S. and other embassies as well as state buildings are located.
Baghdad later dropped all the charges against the detained PMU forces and released them on Monday.
The PMU members were released on Monday and all charges against them were dropped, Kata’ib Hezbollah’s military spokesman Jaafar al-Husseini told AFP.
"The judge ordered their release due to a lack of evidence. The arrests shouldn’t have happened,” the spokesman said.
He said they had appeared at a Hashd military tribunal, as Iraq’s various security forces each have their own court system.
Kata’ib Hezbollah is a military unit operating under the PMU - an Iraqi umbrella group which includes more than 40 militia groups fighting terrorism.