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Any US measure will fail to hinder anti-terror activities: Iraq’s Nujaba

An Iraqi resistance movement whose forces have been fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorists since 2014 has dismissed Washington’s recent threats to impose so-called terrorism-related sanctions on it, saying the decision would not affect the group’s resolve in the battle against terrorism.

Hashim al-Mousawi, a spokesman for Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, said Saturday that any US measure against the movement would fail to impede its anti-terrorism activities.

Stating that Washington wants the resistance group to withdraw from Syria, Mousawi said the Nujaba forces would remain in the neighboring country until terrorism is totally eradicated.

Earlier this month, American lawmakers introduced a bill to the House of Representatives that would place Nujaba on a list of terrorist groups over accusations of having links to Iran. If passed, President Donald Trump would have 90 days to order the imposition of the sanctions.

The bill has sparked widespread condemnation in Baghdad, with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi saying he would not allow anyone who fought Daesh to be treated as criminals.

Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, which has contributed about 10,000 fighters to the battle against Daesh since 2014, is a branch of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (Hashd al-Shaabi).

Hashd al-Shaabi is an Iraqi state-sponsored umbrella organization composed of some 40 groups, which are mainly Shia Muslims. The fighters of the organization reportedly number more than 100,000. Iraqi authorities say there are between 25,000 and 30,000 Sunni tribal fighters within its ranks in addition to Kurdish Izadi and Christian units.

The volunteer force was formed in 2014, when Daesh managed to make sweeping territorial gains in Iraq’s western and northern parts, helping the government forces regain their strength and speed up their counteroffensives.

The volunteer fighters have been on the forefront of the fight against Daesh and played a major role in the liberation of militant-held areas to the south, northeast and north of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

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