Shafaq News/ Iraqi security authorities maintain closure in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad amid a massive deployment of security forces.
A source told Shafaq News Agency that access to the Green Zone is exclusively granted to security ID holders.
Since yesterday, troops and armored vehicles has been on heavily deployed in the Iraqi capital, amid a gradual retreat of the Popular Mobilization Forces' from the Green Zone.
Yesterday, Wednesday, brigades from al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces-PMF) encircled sites inside the Green Zone, including the residence of the Prime Minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi.
A source told Shafaq News Agency that four brigades from the PMF, in addition to a security force affiliated with it, encircled sites inside the Green Zone, including the residences of PM al-Kadhimi, Major-General Abu Ragheef, and the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers.
PMF also deployed troops near Turkey's embassy close to the hanged Bridge, the source added.
The forces made their demands clear: handing the detained PMF commander, Qassim Musleh, and holding those who detained him accountable in exchange for retreating from the Green Zone.
Earlier today, the Iraqi Special forces and army tanks were deployed in the "Green Zone" in Baghdad's downtown, a source revealed.
The source told Shafaq News Agency that the Iraqi army tanks were deployed near the entrances and the entrances of the heavily fortified area in Central Baghdad, in addition to heavy security presence on all the entrances, including the hanged Bridge leading to al-Karrada.
These measures came shortly after a group of military vehicles affiliated with the PMF stormed the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad amid a prevailing climate of palpable tension in the wake of the detention of PMF's commander, Qassem Musleh.
A source told Shafaq News Agency that a group of PMF military vehicles entered the al-Muqatel "the Fighter" Square inside the Green Zone.
Fighters of the PMF pushed down the fence surrounding the square and lifted posters of the PMF leaders, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the source added.
Earlier today, authorities reportedly tightened security measures at the entrances of the Green Zone in the wake of the apprehension of the PMF commander, Qassem Musleh.
A source told Shafaq News Agency that only those who carry badges are allowed to enter the Green Zone.
Security authorities were concerned that PMF fighters might storm the Green Zone and breach security.
It is noteworthy that the new measures have caused a huge traffic jam at the entrances of the Green Zone.
The commander of al-Anbar Operations in the PMF, Qassem Musleh, was reportedly arrested today, Wednesday.
Security sources revealed that a special security force arrested Musleh in the Dora area, south of Baghdad, and took him to a security headquarters.
According to the same sources, Musleh’s arrest was for charges related to public funds issues.
Sources in the PMF said that Musleh was detained per the orders of the head of the Anti-Corruption Committee, Lieutenant-General Ahmed Abu Ragheef, because the former prevented US forces arriving from Syria from entering the Iraqi territory, indicating that they will frame him in a criminal case.
Musleh, a prominent commander of the PMF, had close ties with the late commander of the Iranian Quds force, Qassem Soleimani, and the former Deputy head of the PMF authority, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.