News ID: 262984
Published: 0338 GMT December 15, 2019

Ex-Iraqi PM censures US blacklisting of counterterror figures

Ex-Iraqi PM censures US blacklisting of counterterror figures
AFP
Iraq’s then-prime minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, speaks during a press conference at the German Chancellery in Berlin on April 30, 2019.

Former Iraqi prime minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, condemned a recent decision by the US to slap sanctions on leaders of the pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Sha’abi.

In a statement released by Iraq's Shafaq News on Sunday, he said those targeted by the fresh American sanctions were the ones involved in operations against the Daesh terrorist group, Press TV wrote.

"We reject and denounce the inclusion of Iraqi leaders and figures known for their record and political role in combating Daesh on the list of sanctions and bans by the countries with which we have relations and agreements," he said.

On December 6, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced sanctions on Qais al-Khazali and his brother Laith, two leaders of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq, as well as Hussein Falil Aziz al-Lami of Kata'ib Hezbollah.

Both factions are part of Hashd al-Sha’abi, an umbrella paramilitary group that has actively cooperated with the army in sweeping counterterrorism operations.

Iraqi businessman and political figure Khamis al-Khanjar was also included in the US sanctions list over alleged bribery.

The US Treasury accused the individuals of “widespread forced disappearances, abductions, killings, and torture," saying the punitive measures block their financial transactions with and travel to America.

Qais al-Khazali laughed off the sanctions as an “honor,” saying, “They (the Americans) should have given us this honor a long time ago.”

"I’m embarrassed. Designate me a terrorist! A global terrorist. What is this Treasury list? That means the money we have in US banks will go,” he said sarcastically.

Khanjar’s party condemned the accusations leveled against him as “extremely funny and illogical.”

“He was never an official, nor was his party part of the government,” it added.

On Saturday, thousands of Iraqis took to the streets of Baghdad to protest the sanctions and Washington's interference in their country's internal affairs.

They trampled on giant US flags and staged mock hangings using effigies of US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Over the past weeks, Iraq has witnessed street protests over unemployment and a lack of basic services.

The rallies have, however, taken a violent turn, with some participants vandalizing public property and opening fire on demonstrators.

 

 

   
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Resource: Press TV
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