TEHRANinfo-icon: - Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has issued a decree integrating the country's Popular Mobilization Forces into the formal armed forces.

"All Hashd al-Shaabi forces will work as an inseparable part of the armed forces. All rules applied to the armed forces will be applied to them, unless special letters decree otherwise," read part of the decree on Monday, according to Iraqi sources.

It added, "All other names under which the factions of Hashd al-Shaabi operated during the heroic battles that eradicated the Daesh terrorist entity will be abandoned and replaced with military terms."

The fighters joined forces with the military in 2014 after the Takfiri terror group of Daesh launched a campaign of bloodshed and destruction against the nation.

They effectively contributed to the country's anti-terror struggle, especially in liberation of Daesh-held areas lying to the south, northeast, and north of the capital. The combined push -- reinforced by Iraqinfo-icon's allies, including Iraninfo-icon, which has been lending military advisory support to the Iraqi military -- led to Daesh's expulsion in late 2017.

This prompted Abdul Mahdi's predecessor Haider al-Abadi to order the PMU's formal inclusion in the Arab country's security forces last March. That order granted the PMU many of the same rights as members of the military.

However, the United Statesinfo-icon, which has been leading scores of its allies in a so-called anti-Daesh coalition in Iraq despite the group's demise, has systematically found fault with the PMU's involvement in Iraq's defensive affairs.

In May, USinfo-icon Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had told Iraqi leaders during a surprise visit to Baghdadinfo-icon that if they failed to exercise more control on the fighters, Washington would respond with force.

Meantime, influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sar celebrated Abdul Mahdi's decision, though, announcing that he would sever its ties with the fighters under his support, and urged them to integrate more closely into the military.

"What came from the prime minister on the PMU is an important thing and a correct first step towards building a strong state," Sadr said in a statement.