Middle East Iraqs PM Abadi facing mutiny from within Shiite camp: source 9/27
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    Middle East Iraqs PM Abadi facing mutiny from within Shiite camp: source 9/27

    Middle East Iraqs PM Abadi facing mutiny from within Shiite camp: source

    London, Asharq Al-Awsat
    Iraqs Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi is facing a mutiny from within Shiite circles in the country over his recent crackdown on government corruption, an informed source said on Saturday.

    Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat via telephone, the sourcea high-level Shiite politician who requested anonymitysaid that moves, though unofficial, are being made in secret against Abadi in response to recent reforms he enacted in August.

    The struggle is within the Shiite camp, among its different political and religious lines, and is a struggle for influence, power, and money, the source said. Abadi, a moderate Shiite Islamist who has sought reconciliation between both Sunnis and Shiites, has struggled to build a broad political support-base for substantive reforms he has promised since becoming PM in September 2014.

    In August he canceled a number of government posts including Iraqs three vice president positions, in response to a groundswell of public protests across Iraq calling for better public services and government action to tackle Iraqs endemic corruption problems.

    The move has faced opposition from removed vice presidents Iyad Allawi, Osama Al-Nujaifi, and Nuri Al-Maliki, who is also Abadis predecessor as premier. All three have called the cancelation of the posts unconstitutional and earlier this month Allawi called for Iraqi MPs to remove Abadi from power.

    The source told Asharq Al-Awsat some of those moving against Abadi were among his own ruling, Shiite-dominated Islamic Dawa Party.

    The mutineers include Shiite officials within two major camps: those embroiled in corruptionwhom Abadi has labeled corrupt mafiosos and are largely made up of supporters of his predecessor Maliki.

    Some of them belonged to the Islamic Dawa Party, of which Maliki is also a member, and have been opposed to Abadi since his appointment as PM, the source said.

    The second camp comprises some of the leadership of Shiite militias currently operating in Iraq, many of whom have been involved in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group in the country. Such groups include the Popular Mobilization and other militias, some of whom have ties with Iran.

    Among the most prominent of militia leaders who fear Abadis growing influence are Abu Mahdi Al-Mohandis, a senior commander of the Popular Mobilization; Hadi Al-Ameri, the leader of the Badr Organizationthe armed wing of the Shiite Islamist party the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI)and Qais Al-Khazali.

    The latter is the founder of the Asaib Ahl Al-Haq paramilitary group currently operating in both Iraq and Syria and which was notorious for conducting attacks that killed thousands of American soldiers following the US-led invasion of Iraq.

    The group is thought to be controlled by Iran and its Quds Forcean elite unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps involved in foreign missions in Syria and Iraq.

    The source said: These groups now have a real presence on the ground in Iraq, whether through receiving arms under the pretext of the fight against ISIS, or via Iran.

    An even more dangerous development was the unearthing of several weapons in Baghdads Green Zone [the capitals governmental center] which belonged to some of these groups. The investigation into this is still ongoing.

    Despite some opposition in various quarters, Abadis reforms have received support from Iraqs top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, who possesses major clout in Shiite-majority Iraq.

    Prior to the reforms in August, Sistani called on Abadi to strike with an iron fist against corruption and appoint officials on the basis of merit and not on party or sectarian affiliation.

    Numerous posts in Iraq are divided up along sectarian and ethnic lines. The three vice presidents posts were shared between two Shiites and a Sunni, while the countrys three deputy prime minister posts are shared between a Shiite, a Sunni, and a Kurd. The three top political posts of president, prime minister, and speaker of parliament go to a Kurd, Shiite, and Sunni respectively.

    Last edited by Doodle Brain; 09-28-2015 at 09:16 PM.

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