Sciri criticizes U.S. decision to disarm Badr Brigades

Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, the deputy leader of the Shiite party Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, has been criticizing the US occupation top brass' decision to disarm the party's military unit, Badr Brigades.

He condemned the decision as "hostile, wrong and unjust," the Iraqi newspaper al-Zaman reported on Tuesday.

Badr Brigades spent years fighting against the old Iraqi regime and lost 2,500 soldiers; the decision to disarm them is contrary to the existing agreement that these troops will become part of a new Iraqi army, said al-Hakim. Almost 30,000 of the Brigades' armed soldiers have returned to Iraq from Iran, the country where the SCIRI leadership was based for more than 22 years, but reports said that might be only half of the strength of the Brigades.

At the same time, the top brass of the occupation forces decided to keep the military units of those of the parties that had been helping the coalition forces during the war, namely those of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, and Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress.

However, according to Intifadh Qanbar, an official spokesman for the Iraqi National Congress, the 700-strong paramilitary units of their party, known as the Troops of Free Iraq, will also be disbanded.

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