When the Islamic State (ISIS) surged across Iraq in 2014, the Iraqi state and its army buckled. Iraqi forces retreated in disorder. Soldiers were killed outright; many were captured and subsequently executed. This presaged a national crisis.
Shia cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa incorporating al-Hashed al-Shaabi — the People’s Mobilisation Forces (PMF), an umbrella organisation containing paramilitary groups for use in the campaign to counter ISIS …
“Threats from the Iranian proxy militias against US troops — despite US de facto support to these militias to conquer the territory from which the Islamic State has been driven — go back to the beginning of the campaign in 2014,” said Kyle Orton, a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, a British think-tank.
“These are the same militias that murdered and maimed hundreds of American and British soldiers between 2003 and 2011,” Orton said.
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