Iraqi militia: Lebanese arrest order for commander “politicized”

Popular Mobilization Forces leader Qais al-Khazaali.

Baghdad ( An Iraqi paramilitary group denounced on Tuesday a reported order by Lebanese authorities to arrest and deny entry for its top commander after he was seen at Lebanon’s borders with Israel.

Naeem al-Aboudi, a spokesperson of Asaeb Ahl al-Haq, a component of the Popular Mobilization Forces, said in press statements, quoted by NRT, that a reported Lebanese judicial order to deny entry for the group’s secretary-general, Qais al-Khazaali, is “politicized”.

“Kahzaali is accused of having entered Lebanon illegally. That is untrue, because he made an official visit to Lebanon through Rafik al-Hariri Airport,” Aboudi argued.

A video purporting to show Khazaali, along with members from Lebanese militia Hezbollah, had caused an uproar in Lebanon December as he appeared in a military suit touring the borders with Israel.

“If he was wearing a military suit, that is not banned by Lebanese law. We have hired a lawyer in Lebanon to reverse the order,” Aboudi said.

Many viewed the video as a response from Hezbollah to the Lebanese government’s declared neutrality to regional polarization, especially towards Iran.

Hezbollah and the Iraqi PMF,  both comprising fighters from the Shia Islam sect, are widely understood to enjoy strong military support from Iran.


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