Hashd al-Shaabi to ensure security of Khosravi border: Kermanshah governor

October 6, 2019 - 19:14

TEHRAN – Governor of Kermanshah Province Hooshang Bazvand said on Sunday that Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) will ensure the security of Arbaeen pilgrims at Khosravi border.

“Khosravi is the only Iran-Iraq joint border which leads passengers directly to Baghdad,” Bazvand said, according to Mehr.

“This is an advantage … but due to the recent unrest in the Iraqi capital, a new road has been selected to replace the route to Baghdad from Khosravi border, security of which is to be provided by Hashd al-Shaabi,” he explained.

“From Khosravi border, the selected road goes to Najaf and then to Karbala,” he added.

Arbaeen, which is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, comes 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of the third Shia Imam, Imam Hussein (PBUH).

Each year, millions of Shias visit Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein is located, to perform mourning rites.

Last year, two and half a million Iranian pilgrims participated in the Arbaeen pilgrimage but the figure is expected to reach three and a half to four million this year, given the fact that visa requirements for Iranians have been lifted.

In recent days, several Iraqi cities have seen days of violent protests and deadly clashes with security forces.

The demonstrations, which began on Tuesday, were largely peaceful during the first hours but later turned chaotic and are now making headlines around the world.

Many demonstrators say they can no longer bear problems like chronic corruption, high youth unemployment, and poor public services. They are demanding the government take action immediately. 

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi announced a curfew on Thursday.

Iraqi authorities lifted the curfew days later as normalcy returned to the streets of the country’s capital.

Reuters reported on Saturday that traffic ran as usual in Baghdad, with streets and main squares being otherwise quite.

Tehran says foreign hands are seeking to destabilize Iraq.

“Foreign evil hands which have been behind making #Iraq insecure for years, are now seeking to destabilize Iraq in another way,” Hossein Amir Abdollahian, a senior foreign policy advisor to the Iranian parliament speaker, tweeted on Friday.