Sheikh Maytham al-Zaidi, supervisor of the Al-Abbas (peace be upon him) Fighting Squad, explained the general plan of the Squad and the most important duties entrusted to its forces during the Ziyarat Arba'een. Stressing that this season is the season of the popular mobilization.
This is the text of what he explained:
Today, the numbers of our fighters and reserve volunteers who have joined the service, whether security or service in the holy province of Karbala, to receive the millions of visitors of the Ziyarat Arba'een this year 1441 AH, whether in the north axis of the Baghdad axis or the eastern axis of Babylon axis or the southern axis Najaf Ashraf, are completed.
Today, we are talking about (3,500) volunteers who inspect visitors heading to the holy city of Karbala, and there are a number of other fighters who have other tasks, whether from the primary reserve forces or the forces deployed to support the security and intelligence effort in all the entrances of the holy city, or the fighters involved in the security plan in which Brigade / 26 of the Popular Mobilization is participating.
We are talking today (14th Safar) and the fighters over the past four days were deployed on all the multiple axes, and the first axis is the southern axis towards the city of Najaf, then the eastern axis towards the province of Babylon, and after a day and a half and yesterday the northern axis in the province Baghdad. We are talking about the security effort, which is the inspection.
It is no secret that we can say that this year is the year of the Popular Mobilization, there is a heavy deployment of the Popular Mobilization because it compensated the security forces and other parties that did not join Karbala, because of the events witnessed in the provinces of the country in the previous days, so the operations' leadership had to request additional numbers of fighters of the Popular mobilization in addition to the very high coordination among them. This year is typical by all standards and by all measurements, we have coordination both with our forces in the popular mobilization of various names and brigades, or with the defense and interior forces and all security institutions.
We ensure security on several axes in the security plan; first is the transfer of the visitors from and to the borders. We also have accommodation centers to the visitors on various axes. Each of these centers accommodate 500 to 700 visitors daily. And we also distribute ice blocks in the province of Karbala, because of the high temperatures this year. We also provide the rest of the services for logistical support, service, medical service processions and guides for lost visitors.
Every year we give general figures; in each year, the Iraqi visitor represents (80%) of the overall number of visitors to the province of Karbala. This year there are some (15) million visitors (80%) of them are Iraqis and the rest are from 88 countries.
As for the security and the service side, we perform duties in these two aspects, since we have a relationship with the holy shrines, we benefit from them in providing logistical and service services. And for the security aspect, not only inspection, the 26th brigade has been deployed in the northwest of Karbala province towards Al-Nukhaib area for nearly four years. This area is very important and influential on the scene of the Ziyarat in previous years, as we conducted within Al-Nasr operations in this area, operations to track terrorist groups.
Coordination is very high and we coordinate also with the operations' leadership in which we are deployed or in which we perform the security duty. The Central Body of the Popular Mobilization is also aware of all the 26th Brigade movements and duties.