If ever words were truly spoken, then surely children say them best. One Iraqi school girl has written a letter to the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in which she expressed her sincere appreciation for their efforts in fighting terrorism.
The letter goes as follows:
Dear Popular Mobilization [Forces],
I, Zahraa Ghazwan Mozafar, have passed second grade (elementary) top of my class and this is my gift to you. I had been saving it to buy a locket but you are more precious than gold.
Thank you for letting people live and defending the homeland, us, and me.
I love you so much and I pray for you in prayers.
The letter, which was written in the child’s own handwriting, contained a bundle of Iraqi bills which she had been saving for herself but decided they would be of better use to the PMF.
Zahraa’s letter, however, does not just represent a single view within Iraq. It actually speaks volumes about Iraqis, whose fathers, brothers, friends, relatives and neighbours have joined the Popular Mobilization Forces. This little girl’s appreciation echoes many Iraqis’ gratitude as they realize that members of the PMF volunteered to look death in the eye, stand on the verge of martyrdom and fight. All for the sake of protecting their country and its people.
The Popular Mobilization Forces were formed on June 15 2014 by a decree from the Iraqi government after Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Sistani issued a fatwa on “Sufficiency Jihad.” The fatwa called on Iraqi citizens to help protect the country and participate in the counter-offensive against ISIS following the Fall of Mosul a few days earlier. Shiite resistance factions, Sunni, Christian, and Yazidi groups as well as Iraqis from all walks of life comprise the PMF. In 2015, the resistance coalition was given a more official status by being placed under the direct command of Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s office.
Hand in hand with the state’s security forces, the Popular Mobilization Forces have taken part in major operations against ISIS. These include the Second Battle of Tikrit and the ongoing offensive to retake the city of Fallujah in the western Anbar province.
Many believe the PMF are an indispensable ingredient for the recipe of victory. Observers say that the Popular Mobilization Forces are playing a vital role on the battlefield. Their engagement in the fight has largely contributed to the success of operations as they have a quality that the security forces lack at the level of guerrilla warfare.
But most importantly, the PMF emerged from Iraqis themselves driven by patriotism, a sense of religious duty, or simply individual determination. Members of the PMF are willingly and consciously sacrificing their own blood to prevent the shedding of the people’s blood and Iraqis like Zahraa are aware that this is priceless. Her letter might as well have been signed off, from Zahraa with love to the heroes of Iraq.