In an interview on Alhurra-Iraq’s Hiwar Khass Iraq, Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri stated that Sunni fighters find it difficult to join the Popular Mobilization Forces fight against ISIL to recapture the areas that are under ISIL’s control. “There are 124,000 fighters in the Popular Mobilization Forces and only 17,000 of them are Sunnis,” he said, adding that Sunnis do not have a presence on the Commission that directs the Popular Mobilization Forces operations.
During the hour-long interview, Al-Jabouri contended that the difficult living conditions for internally displaced Iraqis, as well as their growing frustration, will be a recruiting tool for people to “be influenced by ISIL ideology and join the group.”
Al-Jabouri pointed out that the United States agreed to his proposal “to train 10,000 volunteers from the Anbar province in coordination with the Iraqi government and the armed forces command.” Last week the U.S. announced that it will send an additional 450 personnel to the Taqaddum military base in the Anbar province to train and advise Iraqi forces fighting ISIL.
In an internal Iraqi issue, Al-Jabouri expressed his reservations about the recent dismissal of Atheel al-Nujaifi, the former governor of Nineveh province. He said that the Parliament was forced to vote to expel him after the matter escalated into a fistfight.