Iraqi Shiite militia leader Hadi Al-Ameri, head of the Badr Organization, said that he was against a referendum on Kurdistan independence, which, he said, was not in the interest of Iraq. Al-Ameri, speaking on Rudaw Arabic TV, an Iraqi Kurdish channel, on September 4, warned that the establishment of regional entities on a racial or sectarian basis would lead to armed confrontation. He further said that it was in the interest of Iraq for the PMU to continue even in the post-Islamic State (ISIS) era. Al-Ameri also criticized the Hizbullah-ISIS deal that allowed some 300 ISIS fighters to transfer from the Syrian-Lebanese border to Al-Bukamal, near the Iraqi border
Hadi Al-Ameri: "I am worried that a referendum [on Kurdistan independence] will complicate matters even further. That is why I personally called several times upon the brothers in Kurdistan to reconsider the question of a referendum. This is not a question of insistence. What about the interests of Iraq? What about the interests of the Kurdistan region? When I talk about Iraq, this includes Kurdistan. When we determine what these interests are, we can think about [courses of action]. If we don't achieve results, we will turn to other solutions. I believe that it is possible to reach a result. Does Kurdistan only have problems with the government of Iraq? Are there no problems within Kurdistan itself?
"I am against the establishment of regional entities on racial or sectarian basis. My view on this is clear. Today, if we..."
Interviewer: "Does this mean that you will confront them with weapons?"
Hadi Al-Ameri: "No... Let me tell you... We will get to armed [confrontation]."
Hadi Al-Ameri: "We will reach an armed [confrontation] if we establish racially- or sectarian-based regional entities. Let me ask you a question: If we decide to have a racially-based system – divided into a Kurdish region and an Arab region – where will the borders of the regions lie? We will have a conflict. This will not be a civilized dispute. It could lead to an armed confrontation. If we have a sectarian division – a Sunni region and a Shiite region – where will the borders between them lie? How will we divide up the territory? We will have disputes even about the division of a single room."
Interviewer: "In the post-ISIS era, will the Popular Mobilization Units remain?"
Hadi Al-Ameri: Absolutely! It is in the interest of Iraq for the PMU to remain. It is in the interest of Iraq for the PMU to remain.
Interviewer: "How do you view the deal of Hizbullah and the Syrian government with ISIS to transfer the ISIS militants and their families to the border with Iraq?"
Hadi Al-Ameri: We, of course, opposed this. If the agreement had been to move them from one place to another within Syria, that would have been a Syrian matter, and we would not have a say in it. We objected to this because we heard on the news that they were being transferred to the Al-Bukamal region. We explicitly opposed this. We shall not accept it."