Iran-backed militias undermine Iraq's sovereignty: analysts

By Faris Omran


Iran-backed Iraqi militias are seen taking part in combat training in this photo, disseminated by the Imam Ali Brigades on October 11th, 2018.

Iran-backed militias operating in Iraq, including Kataeb Hizbullah (Hizbullah Brigades) and the Badr Brigades, are actively undermining Iraq's sovereignty, Iraqi analysts told Diyaruna.

These armed factions follow the directives of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), they said, and operate with complete disregard for Iraqi law.

Though they took part in the recent battle against the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS), Kataeb Hizbullah and other Iran-backed militias "never showed allegiance to the Iraqi state", strategy expert Alaa al-Nashou told Diyaruna.

These militias follow the orders of IRGC Quds Force commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani and show "complete disregard for Iraqi laws", he said.

"Since their emergence, [Iran-backed] brigades and militias have never been under the control of the Iraqi state, and have done everything to undermine Iraqi sovereignty," he said.

These militias also are fighting in the Syrian war, but not under the auspices of the Iraqi government, he added, which constitutes a "massive transgression" of Iraqi sovereignty.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, there have been numerous documented instances of violations committed by Iran-backed militias operating as part of the Popular Mobilisation Forces, he said.

Targeting Iraqis under false pretexts

A number of reports have emerged that show these forces have been targeting Iraq's Sunni population under the pretext that they are supporting ISIS, al-Nashou said, pointing out that this "is mere lies and deception".

In a June 9th, 2016 report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), for example, eyewitnesses confirmed that Kataeb Hizbullah and the Badr Brigades had rounded up about 1,700 civilians from al-Saqlawiyah, near Fallujah.

The civilians were taken to a detention centre and tortured, with some dying as a result, HRW said.

Around 600 men and boys who were later released showed signs of rape, burns, knife wounds and marks as a result of being beaten, bound or dragged by cars, the report said.

The ultimate goal of these militias is not to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria but to "destabilise Iraq and the region" and keep Iraq under the sway of Iran, strategic and military analyst Rabie al-Jawary told Diyaruna.

"These Iran-backed gangs, which are listed as terrorist groups, are trying to take advantage of any opportunity to bypass the law and take control by force," al-Jawary said.

"However, with the latest demonstrations in Basra and the southern provinces, Iraqis have chanted slogans that clearly reject Iranian intervention," he noted.

Protesters burned the offices of Kataeb Hizbullah and affiliated factions in Basra and Najaf in a show of anger and resentment of Iranian dominance, he said.

"People are fed up with the influence of these militias, that have brought nothing but destruction and harm," al-Jawary said. "The demonstrations and objections carried a clear message for the Iranians to stop their intervention."

Do you like this article?

Shame on you with these articles of your. You are worse than America. You say that the Popular Mobilization forces are harassing our Sunni brothers. What are you talking about? Is it not true that you, traitors, and your American fathers are being defeated by the resistance front? And, that's why you're burning [in rage]. That is why you try to distort [the names of] such great people. If it weren't for these very Iranian soldiers and consultants, you would be forced to call Abu Bakr [Al-Baghdadi] "daddy". Is this how you show your appreciation? Meanwhile, 90 percent of the comments you published are fake and bogus. Publish this comment of mine if you are man enough.


IRGC commanders who claim they have done well must help the people. People here are dealing with death and destruction, our cities are being destroyed and people are suffering. Stop the warmongering and save the people, serve your country.




Where is that Iraqi government which you claim exist? You talk at the same time of the US plan to wage war on anyone who is suspected to be an enemy of America and Israel. We belong to Iraq, and death and damnation to anyone who betrays this country. Damn to the treacherous media! Damn you, together with America and Israel and anyone who supports them!


O, God, expose all those who want to tear Iraq apart from within with their lies! You’ll be the first!


O, God, be angry and destroy all those who want to destroy Iraq, including Iran, Hezbollah, Badr and all those who are subjected to Iran’s will!


You’ve said the truth, and the people of Mecca know it best. By God, they don’t respect anyone and they would intervene in everything even if a man fights with his wife. They don’t respect checkpoints or the police, and all fear their treachery if they run into a problem with any of them, even if they were right.


All that you publish are lies. You're shams and incite for sectarianism.


This article shows your defeat and indicates that you're proceeding with war using other means, including the media. You've lost the land you had occupied under the name of Islamic State.


The Popular Mobilisation Forces have been working on liberating the land of Iraq which "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) terrorists had usurped and they paid their own lives as a price for that. Rumours and various accusations, including theft, non-loyalty to Iraq and targeting and killing of Sunnis, are just lies aimed at separating between Sunnis and their Shia brothers.


The Popular Mobilisation has been working on liberating Iraqi soil which ISIS terrorists usurped. They have paid their own lives for that. The rumours and accusations made against the Mobilisation, including thefts, non-loyalty to Iraq and targeting and killing Sunnis, are lies aimed at separating between Sunnis and Shias.


We Iraqis understand the objectives of Freemasonry which aims to incite sedition among the people of the same country and to drag them to hatred under the pretext that Iran is the one that supports the militias to fight in Iraq and forget the support provided by the Iranian Islamic state. We understand your intent, people of Israel!


I ask those Iraqi analysts: Is the Iraqi state a failure and an agent of America, the West and Israel or not? Is there a law? They're all corrupt. Thanks.


Appointment with the Iraqi National Security Agency.


A very good website that undermines relations with neighbouring countries.


This is baseless nonsense and is part of the media campaign and economic war waged by America and its cohorts in the region against Iran.


The problem for Iraq is that the Wahhabi organisation at the time of Saddam Hussein was controlling everything until the former Iraqi intelligence found out about a meeting between Lt. Gen. Ali al-Duri, secretary of al-Basra Military Branch, and a Wahhabi official and forced him to resign. I say that it’s true that Iran intervenes when there are Wahhabi activities in Iraq to defend itself outside its own areas. When Wahhbism dies, Iran’s intervention will end. Why Turkey attacks northern Iraq day and night and you say nothing? When somebody tells Turkey not to attack the PKK, it says you must prevent the PKK from killing the Turks and destroying the superstructure and infrastructure. Thank you all! November 15th, 2018.