Iraqi PM says armed groups’ move to approach Green Zone violates constitution

File – Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi (PM office)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said on Wednesday armed militia’s move to approach the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad violated the country’s constitution.

Units belonging to the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) staged a show of force in Green Zone on Wednesday, sparking a state of emergency in the capital.

The tension came after the Iraqi government detained Qasim Muslih, a PMF commander in Anbar province, under the country’s terrorism law.

“We have directed an immediate investigation into those movements, according to the law,” Kadhimi said in a statement.

Kadhimi further said an investigative committee including agents from the joint operations command, intelligence agencies, national security and the PMF was formed to investigate the accusations against Muslih.

At dawn, a security force arrested Muslih from his home in Doura district in southern Baghdad, according to media reports.

Two security sources with direct knowledge of the arrest told Reuters that Muslih was detained for involvement in several attacks including assaults on Ain al-Asad air base, which hosts U.S. and international troops.

The air base was attacked at least twice this month with rockets and an unmanned aerial surveillance system.

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