'Qais Al-Khazali is now similar to Badr'

State of Law leader: Militias do not heed Maliki’s calls for restraint

BASRA, February 4 – Saad al-Mutalibi, a leading figure in the State of Law Coalition, acknowledged today that armed factions in Iraq are not heeding former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s calls for restraint, stating that al-Maliki cannot compel them to do so. Al-Mutalibi, in an interview, highlighted that these factions have chosen to confront the Americans independently of the Shiite political consensus.

Al-Mutalibi questioned why Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani has not followed al-Maliki’s approach to expelling American forces, attributing it to Al-Sudani’s lack of a substantial parliamentary bloc and full consensus with political forces, alongside challenges in changing ministers.

He expressed skepticism about America abandoning Iraq or its government, emphasizing the U.S.’s support for the Iraqi political system. According to al-Mutalibi, the U.S. fears an Iranian extremist alternative to the current political system, noting that Iran’s influence has not been alarming, as “gun holders” have not fully assumed control, and Iraq remains a civilian state, not a military one.

Discussing Qais Khazali, al-Mutalibi described him as a political figure whose initial goal was the expulsion of ISIS, which has now done and he has shifted towards becoming a political force similar to the Badr Organization’s past experience.

Al-Mutalibi speculated on al-Maliki’s influence over the factions, suggesting that while they historically consult him, they do not adhere to his opinions, and he cannot enforce them. He was confident that al-Maliki opposes chaos in Iraq, favoring the political, not military, expulsion of U.S. forces, though it seems factions no longer listen to him properly.