Hadi al-Amiri in apparent volte-face on role of hashd in storming Fallujah

The front page story of Rudaw Arabic is reporting on a statement made by Hadi al-Amiri, Commander of Badr Organisation and senior leader in al-hashd al-shaabi, which appears to represent a complete reversal of his previous commitment that the hashd militias would only secure the perimeter of Fallujah and would not enter the city, leaving that task to ISOF, elite police units, and local tribes. The key paragraph translates as follows: al-Amiri states ‘…once we have confirmed the emptying of the city of the civilians we will storm the city and no one will prevent us from participating, we will engage with the counter-terrorism forces, the federal police, the Anbar police and the tribes… Without the engagement of al-hashd no one will be able to liberate Fallujah’. This is certainly a worrying development for those who judged that keeping the militas away from the actual operation of storming the city would be strategically important to its success and will presumably bring al-hashd al-shaabi and its supporters into more direct conflict with the US-led coalition which apparently earlier acted to prevent militia units from entering al-Shuhdha in southern Fallujah following a verbal altercation between ISOF forces and the militia units.

Update: 04/06/2016 This story has now been confirmed by Badr’s media organisation al-Ghadeer which repeats the same account of the Amiri’s statement in the Rudaw story writing that Amiri confirmed this to them in a special statement.

 

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