Shafaq News/ The U.S. National Security Council (NSC) expressed unwavering support for the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, in his conquest to "uphold rule of law" in the country.
The White House's NSC tweeted on Thursday, "We strongly support PM Kadhimi & Govt of Iraq’s commitment to uphold rule of law & pave the way for free & fair elections."
"Anyone who targets Iraqi citizens must be investigated pursuant to Iraqi laws. We condemn those who seek to undermine Iraq’s stability with acts of violence," NSC added.
The White House National Security Council (NSC) is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for consideration of national security, military, and foreign policy matters with senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials.
Yesterday, Iraqi security forces arrested al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces-PMF) perations commander in al-Anbar, Qasim Muslih, in a move security sources said was linked to attacks on a base that hosts U.S. forces.
Security sources revealed the PMF commander was arrested in al-Dawra in Baghdad for involvement in several attacks including recent assaults on Ain al-Asad air base, where U.S. and other international forces are housed.
The air base was attacked at least four times this month with rockets and an unmanned aerial surveillance system, in incidents seen by many Iraqis as reflecting U.S.-Iranian tensions.
Following the arrest, PMF Brigades drove vehicles around the heavily fortified Green Zone, which hosts foreign embassies and government buildings, as a show of force, and encircled the residence of the Iraqi PM and other officials.
Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said in a statement later on Wednesday that security forces have arrested someone after an arrested warrant was issued against him in accordance with the terrorism act and based on complaints filed against him.
Al-Kadhimi did not name him in the statement but said the defendant will stay in the custody of the Joint Operations Command until the end of the investigation.
"The armed protest that took place by armed groups are a serious violation of the Iraqi constitution," Kadhimi said in his statement, adding that he had ordered an immediate investigation.
Shi'ite leaders, including Hadi al-Amiri, the leader of al-Fatah Alliance and the Secretary-General of the Badr Organization, have intervened to try to defuse the crisis and proposed transferring Muslih to the PMF custody.
Until the moment, it is unclear whether Musleh is still in the custody of the Iraqi authorities or transferred fo the PMF custody.