Abadi defends role of Iranian-backed paramiltaries at meeting with Tillerson

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By Maher Chmaytelli BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi defended the role of an Iranian-backed paramilitary force at a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday in Baghdad. Tillerson arrived on Monday hours after the Iraqi government rejected his call to send home the Popular Mobilisation, an Iran-backed force that helped defeat Islamic State and capture the Kurdish-held city of Kirkuk. In his opening remarks at the meeting with Tillerson, Abadi said Popular Mobilisation “is part of the Iraqi institutions,” rejecting accusations that it is acting as an Iranian proxy.


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