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Mass army defections following the IS seizure of Mosul in 2014 gave thereafter the PMF a crucial role  in the fight against the Islamic State.
Mass army defections following the IS seizure of Mosul in 2014 gave thereafter the PMF a crucial role  in the fight against the Islamic State.

Iraq’s PMF Inducted Into Security Forces

Paramilitary members will be given equivalent salaries to those members of the military under the Ministry of Defense’s control, the decree said. They will also be subject to the laws of military service and will gain access to military institutes and col

Iraq’s PMF Inducted Into Security Forces

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has issued a decree formalizing the inclusion of paramilitary groups in the country’s security forces.
According to the decree, members of the groups, an assortment of militia groups known collectively as the Popular Mobilization Forces, which were instrumental in defeating the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, will be granted many of the same rights as members the military, Reuters reported.
Paramilitary members will be given equivalent salaries to those members of the military under the Ministry of Defense’s control, the decree said. They will also be subject to the laws of military service and will gain access to military institutes and colleges.
The decree had been expected for some time and comes two months ahead of a high-stakes general election. The PMF commands popular support among Iraq’s majority Shia population and is expected to sway voters.
Speaking during a security and defense exhibition in Baghdad on Saturday, Abadi was quoted by state TV saying that merging the PMF within the army “preserves the identity of the security forces”, Iraqi News reported.
Abadi added that the move comes to make the carrying of weapons exclusive to the state bodies.
He has repeatedly voiced intentions to impose discipline on PMF components and has reiterated the importance of its figures not combining military leadership with parliamentary election ambitions.
The PMF, which also included a large number of fighters from Iraq’s minority Sunni Muslim, Christian and other communities, were first officially recognized and placed under Abadi’s command in 2016.
Tens of thousands of Iraqis heeded a call to arms in 2014 after IS seized a third of the country’s territory, forming the PMF. The paramilitaries supported Iraq’s military in ejecting IS from areas the militants overran in 2014, when Iraqi military and police divisions deserted en masse.
Mass army defections following the IS seizure of Mosul in 2014 gave thereafter the PMF a crucial role in the fight against the Islamic State.
Iraq declared victory over the militants in December, but the militias, estimated to comprise more than 60,000 fighters, are still deployed in many of the areas which saw heavy fighting during the three-year war to oust IS.
Iraq’s parliament passed a law in 2016 to bring the PMF into the state apparatus, with the paramilitary groups reporting directly to the prime minister.

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