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Iraq’s Kata’ib Hezbollah Rejects New Prime Minister-Designate

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Iraq’s Kata'ib Hezbollah Rejects New Prime Minister-Designate

Kata’ib Hezbollah fighters gather ahead of the funeral of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Hashd al-Sha’abi or Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), who was assasinated in a US airstrike, in Baghdad, Iraq, January 4, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)

Iraq’s Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) has slammed the decision to name Mustafa al-Kadhimi as the country’s new Prime Minister-designate.

In an official statement, the group called al-Kadhimi is a “suspicious figure,” claiming that he does not have the needed personal skills to be the Prime Minister of Iraq.

“We refuse to be part of this conspiracy, whoever are the sides and parties supporting it … This conspiracy is like declaring a war on the Iraqi people; and the loyal and patriotic sons of the country should take their usual role of rejecting this sinister deal,” the statement, released on April 10, reads.

Al-Kadhimi, Chief of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service (INIS), was named as the Prime Minister-designate a day earlier. He replaced Adnan al-Zurfi that had resigned after failing to get any serious support.

Al-Zurfi, who enjoys good relations with Washington, was rejected by Iraqi Shiite groups, which called him an “agent of the U.S. intelligence” in a joint statement. However, al-Kadhimi’s chances to form a government are much higher, as he maintains balanced relations with both the U.S. and Iran.

However, KH apparently has a tough stance towards al-Kadhimi. The group declared that it will work against him, calling on Iraqi parties to name a “patriotic figure” as the Prime Minister-designate

Al-Kadhimi’s nomination was also rejected by ‘Ashab al-Kahf (AK), a newly-formed Shiite armed group that claimed responsibility for recent attacks on U.S. forces in northern Iraq. The group also vowed to work against the Prime Minister-designate.

This situation will not likely affect al-Kadhimi’s efforts to form a new government. Al-Khadimi is enjoying a vast support from major blocks in the Parliament, including the largest Sunni and Kurdish parties.

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