Reuters quoted military and intelligence sources that Prime Minister Haider Abadi, a plan to restore heavy weapons in the popular crowd factions and reduce the number by half. “
“The next step is for Abbadi to order commanders of the army and police to hand over these heavy weapons under the pretext of its reform,” she said.
Two military sources said that “the Ministry of Defense will then exclude the fighters who are over the age required and also physically unfit.”
“The plan will be carried out with great care and precision to prevent any negative reaction from the leaders of the popular crowd,” said a colonel’s army officer who briefed him on the plan.
“We can not keep a second army in one country, that is the main objective of the plan,” he said.
Parliamentarians close to Abadi told Reuters of an adviser to the prime minister that Abadi “is under tremendous pressure from the West and the regional allies [Sunnis] to resolve the popular mobilization forces after he became a supporter does not pose a major threat.”
“Prime Minister Abbadi is receiving letters from allies in the war on a supporter urging him to dismantle the popular crowd as a condition for continuing their support in the future,” the adviser said on condition of anonymity.
“A joint committee of the army, police and intelligence services will review the number of SPLA fighters and make recommendations to Abadi, who will decide who stays and who will retire,” said a military intelligence officer with the rank of colonel closely linked to the office of the chief of staff.
“Abadi will also instruct his leaders to restructure his forces.”
“Collecting heavy weapons from the factions will not be easy because they control hundreds of headquarters, weapons stores, camps and even small missile factories,” said another army officer with the rank of colonel.
Reuters reported aides to Abadi and the leader of the Sadrist movement Moqtada al-Sadr, they held a secret meeting in the city of Karbala on November 11 to discuss the help of the government to disarm the factions.
An adviser to Sadr said Abbadi had asked Sadr during his meeting to try to “cleanse the country” of corrupt politicians and those who might try to use armed groups to influence the election.
“They talked about putting an end to the factions that work above the law, fighting corruption and of course supporting Abadi’s bid to be prime minister for a second term,” he said.
A number of deputies close to Abadi and sources close to Sadr said that the prime minister got Sadr’s support in preventing the factions from interfering in the elections.
“Sadr can push hundreds of thousands into the streets in solidarity with Abbadi with one appeal and will make Abbadi’s opponents think twice before challenging him,” said a senior Shi’ite politician with close ties to Sadr.
Another source close to him said that “Sadr intends to do so in the very near future.”