Mobilization troops deny news on US$500 million“gift”

Al-Hashed al-Asha’bi militia spokesman Karim al-Nuri

( The Shia-led paramilitary troops has declared refusal to be dragged into conflicts between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, a leader has said.

In a report on Monday, Saudi newspaper Okaz quoted Iraqi anonymous sources as saying that Qatari Foreign Minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, who met with Iraqi premier Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad last week, had asked to transfer US$500 million, originally meant as ransom payment for the hunters’ release, as a “gift” to al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units).

Including members of the country’s ruling royal family, the 26 Qataris were abducted by militiamen during a hunting trip in south of Iraq in 2015. They were released in April.

Karim al-Nuri, a leader with PMUs, denied the news saying they lack evidence, rejecting the attempt to involve the troops in regional issues.

Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi previously disclosed confiscating a huge amounts of money that entered Iraq illegally in possession of a high-profile Qatari delegation which arrived in Iraq to follow up on the release of the kidnapped ones. However, Doha said the money entered with the government’s knowledge.

Meanwhile, Ahmed al-Assadi, PMUs spokesperson, said commented on the news saying that “ the remarks do not deserve comments,” describing them as ‘lies’.

There has been growing rift between each of Qatar and Saudi Arabia regarding relations with Iran. Qatar has slammed a U.S.-Arab summit that took place last week in Riyadh saying it there was an escalation against Iran. Diplomatic tensions later occurred when Saudi Arabia blocked some prominent Qatari media outlets over statements by the Qatari king at which he criticized the summit’s stance against Iran. Denying the statements, Qatar said the media outlets were hacked.

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