DIALA / Aswat al-Iraq: Iraqi police forces are entirely in control of camp Ashraf where the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) lives, the Diala province’s police commander said on Thursday.
The PMOI’s spokesperson did not confirm this announcement, and claimed that Iraqi army forces are preparing to attack the Camp, but an authorized source from the army denied this claim.
“Police forces, in coordination with Iraqi army forces, are in total control of Camp Ashraf without any violence,” General Abdilhussein al-Shemmary, the Diala police commander, told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
But Mahdee Aqbaee, the PMOI’s spokesperson, told the agency that “Iraq army forces are preparing to carry out a new attack on Camp Ashraf.”
For his part, an authorized source from the Iraqi army denied this issue.
“Iraqi army and police forces are in control of Camp Ashraf, without any security troubles,” the source said.
Yesterday, Iraqi forces engaged with PMOI’s elements when the Organization’s operatives prevented the troops from entering Camp Ashraf territory.
The PMOI, also known by the abbreviations MKO and MEK, is a militant socialist organization that advocates the overthrow of Iran’s current government. Founded in 1965, the PMOI was originally devoted to armed struggle against the Shah of Iran, capitalism and Western imperialism.
The group is said renounced violence in 2001 and today it is the main organization in the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an “umbrella coalition” parliament-in-exile that claims to be dedicated to a democratic, secular and coalition government in Iran.
The PMOI has had thousands of its members for many years in bases in Iraq, but they were disarmed in the wake of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and are said to have adhered to a ceasefire. Its armed wing is, or was, called the National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA).
The former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein dedicated Camp Ashraf in Diala province, northeast of Baghdad, to host the PMOI members since the 1980s.
Although being designated as a “terrorist” group, the organization has been under U.S. protection.
After the security agreement between Iraq and the United States government was signed, the Iraqi government took the responsibility of providing security to Camp Ashraf residents.