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PMU Strategic Asset of Iraq

Iraq’s successes in its fight against terrorism prove that the only effective way to deal with terrorism is to depend on people’s capabilities and use domestic capacities
Iraq's Vice President Nouri al-Maliki (L) meets Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani in Tehran on Jan. 3. Iraq's Vice President Nouri al-Maliki (L) meets Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani in Tehran on Jan. 3.

A senior official said Iraqi voluntary forces, known as Popular Mobilization Units or Hashd Shaabi, are a strategic asset capable of protecting Iraq's future security.

"Iraq's successes in its fight against terrorism prove that the only effective way to deal with terrorism is to depend on people's capabilities and use domestic capacities," Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said in a meeting with Iraq's Vice President Nouri al-Maliki in Tehran on Tuesday, IRNA reported.

PMU was formed following the 2014 surprise attack on Iraq's east by the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, which led to the fall of large swathes of the country.

The units are currently assisting Iraqi Army in a months-long operation to liberate the northern city of Mosul.

"Thanks to the launch of the Mosul operation, IS has fallen into decline and the operation should continue [until terrorists are rooted out] to prevent them from regrouping and hatching new plots," Shamkhani said.

Maliki, the leader of Iraq's State of Law Coalition, praised Iran's support for Iraq's anti-terror push.

The former Iraqi prime minister added, "Protection and continuation of significant victories of the resistance front over terrorists and their regional and western supporters demand efforts to identify and remove obstacles and plans to improve political and defense capabilities."

Earlier on Tuesday, Maliki met Ali Akbar Velayati, the foreign policy advisor to the Leader of Islamic Revolution.

On Monday, the Iraqi vice president held a press conference on Tehran-Baghdad relations and regional developments.

Maliki arrived in Tehran on Saturday.

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