Iraqi forces, supported by members of the Al-Hashed al-Shaabi, advance through Anbar province as they attempt to flush out remaining Daesh fighters. AFP / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
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Iraqi officials have blasted calls to disband a Shiite-dominated militia coalition that has been key in battling Daesh (ISIS), after French President Emmanuel Macron said it should disarm.Calls have grown from the West for Al-Hashd, an umbrella group dominated by Iran-backed Shiite militias that is officially controlled by Iraq's prime minister, to be dismantled as the Daesh "caliphate" has been reduced to just a few pockets of desert.Macron's call underscores the tough balancing act Baghdad has to perform between its allies in the war on Daesh, Iran and Western powers, which do not see eye to eye.Macron's meeting with KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and his deputy Qubad Talabani was the first high-profile international meeting for the Kurdish leadership after a Sept. 25 independence referendum in the autonomous area.
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