Iranian-backed militias ‘have no place in free and democratic Iraq’

British MEP David Campbell Bannerman © Welwyn and Hatfield Chamber of Commerce

A member of the European Parliament has called on the Iraqi government to expel all Iranian proxy militias in the country.

David Campbell Bannerman, a Member of the European Parliament and Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with Iraq, in a statement on Wednesday, called Erbil and Baghdad to de-escalate the situation and urged the withdrawal of all Iranian proxy militias in Iraq.

Bannerman encouraged Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) own Premier, Nechirvan Barzani, to “endeavor to de-escalate the situation in on the ground in an effort to avoid conflict.”

Bannerman stressed on the importance holding constructive dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad “on the basis of the Constitution and in recognition for the need of respect for autonomy in the Kurdistan Region,” urging both sides to agree on a timetable to seek a swift and peaceful resolution to the tensions.

He called on the Iraqi government to “unequivocally demand the total and unilateral withdrawal of all Iranian proxy Shia militia forces in Iraq.”

“These battalions, such as Kataaib Hezbollah, have no place in a free and democratic Iraq and only help to inflame the already fragile situation. Their immediate withdrawal is the only option,” Bannerman concluded.

Source: Kurdistan24

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