Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr delivers a sermon to worshippers during Friday prayers at the Kufa mosque near Najaf, Iraq September 23, 2016
Baghdad- “Iraqi Cleric and Leader of Sadrist Movement Moqtada al-Sadr is expected to announce the dissociation of Saraya al-Salam, the military arm of his bloc, during his speech infront of his followers in Baghdad on Friday,” an official in the Sadrist Movement told Asharq Al-Awsat.
He added that the aim of Sadr step is to halt a potential riot called the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and to support the government as well as to reveal bona fide towards the post-ISIS phase.
Saraya al-Salam is part of the joint armed factions in the war against ISIS and is located in Saladin and Samarra. Sadr announced forming it on June 10 2014 after ISIS seized wide space of Iraqi territories.
Back then, he said that its mission was to protect the sacred places in Iraq including mosques, churches, places of worship and shrines. The group consists of up to 40,000 fighters and around 6,000 of them are affiliated to the Popular Mobilization Forces.
Expectations of Sadr announcing dissociating Saraya al-Salam comply with what was previously announced by him on the fate of PMF after the ISIS phase is over.
Sadr called for integrating Popular Mobilization Forces discipline members with the security forces so the thereof can maintain its “stability, force and sovereignty through enacting a customized system.” He also stressed that arms in Iraq should be captured and handed out to the state through strict and clear mechanisms.
Sadrist Movement sources affirmed that its leader will urge in his speech to keep on the demonstration and calls for reforms.
Sadr followers have been protesting in Baghdad since a year in demand for “reforms and fighting corruption” – they also carried out a demonstration before the Council of Representatives and raided it end of April 2016.
(Source / 25.03.2017)