Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met with Hashd al-Shaabi leaders on Friday. Photo: Iraqi PM office
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Iraqi government has told the Hashd al-Shaabi they will have to wait until next month to receive increased salaries, when emergency funds are available.
Iraq’s Council of Ministers announced on Thursday it would increase the salaries of Hashd al-Shaabi fighters, bringing them on par with the Iraqi army, effective October 1.
In a meeting with officials from the paramilitias on Friday, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the raises would be available only when emergency funds are released in the last three months of the fiscal year, “when there is financial abundance.” Iraq’s fiscal year coincides with the calendar year.
Under the budget law, only the prime minister and the finance minister can control the emergency fund, which shall not exceed three trillion dinars ($2.5 billion). Abadi currently holds both posts.
Abadi, who named himself head of the Hashd after firing the former commander for partisanship, has been criticized by the Iran-backed militias for not keeping promises, including with respect to salaries.
Trying to smooth over relations, Abadi heaped praise on the Hashd for their role in the war against ISIS, as revealed in a statement issued by his office.
One of the "achievements of the security forces is non-involvement in political conflicts and we will not allow the exploitation of our security forces by... political parties,” he said.
"The officials of Hashd al-Shaabi expressed their gratitude... to the prime minister for his constant support for Hashd al-Shaabi, equalizing them with other security forces and taking care of the families of martyrs and the injured,” read the statement.