ERBIL — A huge amount of Iraq’s annual budget has been allocated to the Shi’ite Arab militia groups of Hashd al-Shaabi since its formation back in 2014, a Kurdish member of the Iraqi parliament said.
“Hashd al-Shaabi receives a total fund of three trillion Iraqi dinars every year from Iraqi federal budget, over 1.6 trillion of which is allocated by the Ministry of Defence,” said MP Najiba Najib.
The Kurdish MP, who is also a member of the Parliamentary Committee for Economy and Financial Affairs, told BasNews that apart from the huge fund, the government-backed Shi’ite militias receive a share from the weapons provided by the US-led coalition to Iraq.
Hashd al-Shaabi, also known as Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), were established following a fatwa by Iraqi supreme Shi’ite leader Ali Sistani at the wake of the Islamic State (IS) attacks on Iraq in June 2014.
The Shi’ite groups are funded by Baghdad and said to have been directed by Iran. However, its involvement in the anti-Islamic State campaign in Iraq has always been a subject of controversy for the group’s alleged human rights abuses against the Sunni population of the areas they liberated from IS.