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Mick-ing amends MEP Mick Wallace says trip to Iraq with Clare Daly was an 'opportunity to apologise' for Ireland's role in war

"We came here to understand the people of Iraq, to understand the institutions better and to get more of a feel for the place.”

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Clare Daly (furthest left) and Mick Wallace (right) in Iraq

Clare Daly (furthest left) and Mick Wallace (right) in Iraq

Clare Daly (furthest left) and Mick Wallace (right) in Iraq

Irish MEP Mick Wallace has said a trip to Iraq was an “opportunity to apologise for the role Ireland played in the destruction of their country”. 

He tweeted the message as it emerged how the visit by himself and fellow MEP Clare Daly to the headquarters of a militia network in the war-torn country has been used in a promotional YouTube video for the group.

Both politicians were filmed as they inspected a wall tiled with photographs before speaking to camera during the visit to the brigade headquarters of Hashed al-Shaabi.

The video, entitled ‘Credibility and strength: This was what [the] European Parliament said during a visit to the headquarters of the Popular Mobilisation Forces’ has been viewed over 18,000 times since it was posted on March 30.

Wallace explained in the video that, "We came here to understand the people of Iraq, to understand the institutions better and to get more of a feel for the place.”

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MEP Clare Daly pictured in a screengrab from the video

MEP Clare Daly pictured in a screengrab from the video

MEP Clare Daly pictured in a screengrab from the video

He adds: “We have a good knowledge of what’s really happening here and that’s fine but when we’re in the European Parliament talking about it and we do that on a regular basis but being here, experiencing it, gives us more credibility and more strength in addressing the challenges that face Iraq in the European Parliament.

“While it is absolutely crucial for Iraq that the Americans respect the wish of the Iraqi parliament and get out of the place. They should leave the country.

“There should be no foreign forces here unless they have permission (from) Iraq. That has to change.

Yesterday MEP Wallace tweeted: “Great go to #Iraq to get a better understanding of situation there - And what a wonderful people. It was also an opportunity to apologise for the role Ireland played in the destruction of their country by allowing #US Military use #Shannon to destroy over a million Iraqi lives.”

Later in the video, Daly, dressed in a hijab, says to camera: “This was a very strong message that came from today’s meeting. It is extremely important that we know that Hashed al-Shaabi upholds international law, which is basically what was explained to us.

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“And yet the United States and many European countries — and, obviously, the terrorists — have flagrantly breached international law on many occasions. So it demonstrated a strong commitment to humanitarian and international law which is incredibly important for us.”

I think that that the people who fought, fought to defend themselves. The sacrifices and the stance made benefited the whole world, of that I am absolutely certain.”

She adds: “It is a disgrace that the terrorists who entered Iraq, and were involved in Iraq, were facilitated by the United States and by western powers and, as you say, terrorists who came from all over the world. Those people do not represent the people of the world. They are our common enemy, and we owe you a debt.”

In February, the United States military carried out attacks on facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran-backed militia following rocket attacks on US troop locations in Iraq.

“At President Biden’s direction, US military forces earlier this evening conducted airstrikes against infrastructure utilized by Iranian-backed militant groups in eastern Syria,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby in a statement.

“These strikes were authorised in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel,” he said.

Kirby said the strikes destroyed multiple facilities at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups, including Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS).

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP at least 22 fighters were killed when the strike hit three trucks loaded with munitions coming from Iraq near the Syrian border. Militia border posts were also destroyed, the war monitor said.

The group said all the dead were from the Hashed al-Shaabi, an umbrella organisation that includes KH and KSS.

The Pentagon regularly describes Hashed al-Shaabi as “Iranian-backed militant groups”. It is made up of between 50 and 70 separate militia groups, backed by Iran, and also known as Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF).

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