It was time for Iranian-backed militias and advisers to home says Tillerson

Vastavam web: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday it was time for Iranian-backed militias and their Iranian advisers who helped Iraq defeat Islamic State to “go home”, after a rare joint meeting with the leaders of Iraq and Saudi Arabia.The United States is concerned that Iran, a Shi‘ite regional power, will take advantage of gains against IS in Iraq and Syria to expand the influence it gained after the U.S. invasion in 2003, something Sunni Arab rivals such as Riyadh also oppose.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis heeded a call to arms in 2014 after IS seized a third of the country’s territory, forming the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), which receive funding and training from Tehran and have been declared part of the Iraqi security apparatus.A senior U.S. official said Tillerson had been referring to the PMF and the Quds Force, the foreign paramilitary and espionage arm of the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

A new joint ministerial-level body between Iraq and Saudi Arabia convened its inaugural meeting earlier on Sunday to coordinate their fight against IS and on rebuilding Iraqi territory wrested from the group.Jubeir emphasized historic ties between the two neighbours, which share a border, vast oil resources and many of the same tribes.The rare senior meeting, signalling a thaw between states that have been at loggerheads for decades, was also attended by Saudi King Salman and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.