Iran-backed Iraqi militias pose ‘serious’ threat to US

By James Snell, The Arab Weekly

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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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