Members of the Popular Mobilisation Units supporting the government forces stand on the outskirts of the holy Iraqi city of Najaf on September 24, 2016, as take part in a military parade from Karbala to Najaf to review the military equipment to be used in the operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State (IS) group. Western officials have indicated that the drive for Mosul, Iraq's second city, may begin next month, though Baghdad has declined to specify when it will start. / AFP PHOTO / Haidar HAMDANI

Iraq’s parliament voted on Saturday to integrate the controversial Popular Mobilisation Units (PMUs) into the country’s armed forces.
The law says the more than 100,000 PMU fighters will be subject to military law. They will answer directly to the Iraqi prime minister and be paid according to Iraqi Security Forces rates.
All the Shia blocs in the Iraqi parliament approved the measure, but many Sunni politicians, who have long accused the PMUs of engaging in sectarian reprisals against Sunni citizens, boycotted the session.
“I don’t understand why we need to have an alternative force to the army and the police,” said Sunni member of parliament (MP) Raad al-Dahlaki.
“As it stands now, it would constitute something that looks like Iran’s Revolutionary Guard,” he warned.
The move to normalise the PMUs has been in the works for some time, but the power and influence of the militias is such that the government …
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