BAGHDAD – The commander of Iraq's biggest Shiite Muslim paramilitary group told its fighters on Thursday to take their orders from the national military and cut their ties with the group's political wing.
Hadi al-Amiri, leader of the Iran-backed Badr Organization, also called on the group's fighters to withdraw from the cities under their control.
The move paves the way for Amiri to stand in parliamentary elections on May 12.
Participation in the election by members of Iraq's Iran-backed Shiite paramilitaries, collectively known as Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), has been hotly debated in Iraq. PMF members cannot run for office unless they formally resign their posts.