Iraqi Sunni association calls PMF ‘terrorist militia’ targeting civilians in Tarmiyah

The Iraqi Association of Muslim Scholars accuse Hashid al-Shaabi of carrying out executions and abuses against civilians

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraq’s Association of Muslim Scholars on Saturday has described the Iraqi paramilitary organization, Hashid al-Shaabi, as “terrorist militia” that targets civilians in Tarmiyah district north of Baghdad.

The association said in a statement on Saturday that the “terrorist militias” were still insisting on targeting the Tarmiyah district, displacing people there in front of the world.

PMF units have launched an operation against Islamic State (ISIS) remnants in Tarmiyah district since Thursday.

On Friday, the militants killed four PMF fighters and wounded six others in an attack in Tarmiyah, according to Hashid al-Shaabi.

Since then, the PMF has increased operations to search for ISIS remnants in the district.

The district of Tarmiyah “has witnessed a serious escalation, flagrant violations of human rights, security restrictions and arbitrary measures against members of the area, accompanied by raids, searches and random arrests of dozens of innocent people,” the Iraqi Sunni association said.

The association accused the PMF of carrying out executions and abuses against civilians, the statement read.

The PMF attempted to “remove the entire residential areas from Tarmiyah district, similar to what happened in the Jurf al-Sahar sub-district, south of Baghdad,” it continued.

It also condemned the ongoing military campaign in the district, warning of a “humanitarian disaster perpetrated by the militias of the so-called Popular Mobilization” in the district.

Formed in 2014 to back the Iraqi army in its fight against ISIS militants, the PMF at the time controlled large swathes of the country but have since been integrated into the armed forces.

Some ISIS cells have remained active even after Iraq declared the militant group defeated in 2017, especially in the Tarmiyah region and the deserts of northern Iraq.

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