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Iran-backed militias in Iraq are increasing their activities in response to the Iraqi government’s effort to rein them in.
 
02/27/2021
 

Iraq Militias Defy Government, Pressure U.S. to Leave

Iran-backed militias in Iraq are increasing their activities in response to the Iraqi government’s effort to rein them in.

BY WATCH JERUSALEM STAFF

After nearly two decades of fighting in Iraq, the United States issued an ultimatum to the Iraqi government late last month: Prevent the frequent attacks on our soldiers, bases and convoys, or we will shut down and withdraw from our embassy in Iraq.

But dismantling the militias is proving to be an impossible task for the Baghdad government.

Last month, Iraq’s top cleric, Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, called for the disbanding of all militias. However, similar to Hezbollah in Lebanon, some of the militias have become a state within a state, with their own agenda that is in line with Tehran. And under the previous administration, pro-Iran activists were allowed to infiltrate the army and security bodies, as well as key governmental ministries.

This means there is no easy solution for the Iraqi government or the United States.

 
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