“But at the same time,” the militia commander continued, “we support respect of Sharia and religious commands, which we believe is more important than any other commitment.”
“We have given Syria long columns of martyrs, and we are prepared to offer more,” al-Wala’i continued.
“After Syria, we will not stop,” he said. “We will go to the further than the borders of the Arab world so long as our presence is needed there.”
Talal said that because the central command of al-Hashd is in Iran and Najaf (Shia Islam’s most important city in central Iraq), “it is not necessary (for al-Hashd) to pledge allegiance to the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces (Abadi).”
Talal claims al-Hashd met late last year in Iran with IRGC leaders and Soleimani where they discussed, among other things, the upcoming 2018 general elections.
“There is a strong possibility that after two years, the Hashd won’t need anyone to legitimise it, because he will become the legislator (and legitimator),” Talal warned.
“It gets worse,” he said, “because all that we have said goes against what Abadi has said: that the Hashd obey his commands.”
Talal ended his segment with a simple but crucial question: How can al-Hashd claim loyalty to Abadi in Baghdad when they are taking orders from Soleimani in Tehran?