Baghdad – A senior leader at al-Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) has said the militia would not hesitate to move its fight against Islamic State extremists to Syria provided that Syrian and Iraqi governments ask for that.
Sami al-Masoudi stated that while the notion is not on the table at present, “if the Syrian government requests it, and with approval from Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, I would say ‘at your beck and call’.”
Al-Hashed al-Shaabi, a paramilitary Shia militia, is enjoying the consent of Abadi’s government and is fighting on the government’s part in the major offensive on Mosul, Islamic State’s last stronghold in Iraq.
Masoudi’s statements copy those of Hadi Al-Ameri, another senior leader of the PMU, who was quoted last Monday as saying: “Our mission is to liberate our country, and we would go to Syria if it requires so.”
Reports have highlighted major victories for Iraqi joint forces and popular militias over ISIS fighters in Mosul, with the group also reportedly abandoning locations and fleeing to Syria.