Iraqi Parliament to question PM about Rumored Return of Blackwater

Iraqi parliament

07 August 2017 | | Iraqi News

Baghdad ( An Iraqi parliament committee will meet with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to inquire about the veracity of rumors about the return of notorious security company Blackwater for work in Iraq.

The parliament’s Security and Defense Committee said Monday it was going to seek more information about the activities of U.S. security companies operating in Iraq.

Committee member Niazi Meamaroglu told Almaalomah website that a meeting will be held with Abadi to inquire about the truthfulness of reports that the government had contracted Blackwater,  a private security company whose contractors opened fire at civilians in central Baghdad in 2007, leaving 14 dead, including women and children.

“So far, the government has not briefed us on the arrival of private security firms for securing the highway between Anbar and Jordan, and we only heard about it from some members,” said Meamaroglu.

Iraq dismissed Blackwater with a parliament vote after company agents opened fire at a convoy of civilian vehicles in Baghdad’s al-Mansour district in September 2007, killing and wounding 41 people.

A U.S. federal appeals court cancelled on Saturday life and 30-year prison sentences against four Blackwater members involved in the massacre, and ordered to reconsider the verdicts.

The defendants had said in a trial session in 2014 that they had acted in self-defense, but no evidence emerged then that they were under a threat that required the shooting. They were found guilty of murder and attempted murder.

Last month, London-based The New Arab said Blackwater was returning to Iraq through Olive Group, an Emirati front for the notorious company.

The Iraqi cabinet has yet to comment on the rumors, but the government is already negotiating with Jordan to reopen the vital Treibil border crossing, and plans to entrust its security to private foreign firms.

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