Iraqi Forces Vow to Attack US Troops

A member of the Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi militia in Iraq
A member of the Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi militia in Iraq (Photo: ACHILLEAS ZAVALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Iraqi “resistance” forces have vowed to attack American troops in the region once the war against ISIS is won, MEMRI reported.

The reports were based on statements by leaders of the forces to the Lebanese daily Al Akhbar, a newspaper linked to the Iranian-backed Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah.

The Iraqi “resistance” forces consist of militias from Hashd al-Shaabi, known as the Popular Moblization Units (PMU).  The PMU are 40 mainly Shiite militias sponsored by the Iraqi government and a permanent part of the country’s military force.

“We will not lay down our arms at the end of [the war against] ISIS,” said the source speaking for militias within the PMU.

The source added that the defeat of ISIS would be “a call for reorganizing our ranks and preparing for the great conflict with the Americans …

“The American forces deployed in Iraq will constitute ‘targets for new attacks’ to be carried out by the resistance factions who see the American presence as a ‘new occupation’… Today, calls are increasing in Iraq for planning to carry out military-security operations against the ‘new [American] occupation’ where it is situated in Iraq. According to the sources, ‘the [resistance] units in charge of the confrontation [with the U.S. forces] are already prepared to begin their operations.'”

The sources estimated U.S. troops in Iraq number between 6,000 to 25,000.

In November 2016, the Iraqi parliament passed a law supported by Shiite groups in parliament which transformed the PMU into an official member of the Iraqi military. As noted by The Washington Institute, “The law sets the premises for the emergence of two parallel armies, empowered both by Western military doctrine and techniques and by domestic religious and sectarian tenets …

“According to the new law, the group is part of Iraq’s armed forces, directly commanded by the prime minister. It shares all of the army’s rights and resources – but without having all of its terms and conditions …

“Beyond the battle against IS [ISIS], the PMU forces exist to defend and remain loyal to a Shia-centered Iraq.”

In a report, the institute comments, “Replacing Iraqi nationalism is the emboldened status of the Shia in Iraq, who now have democratic rights in addition to military security. How, then, will this shift in structural and military power affect influential non-Shia groups in Iraq, such as the Kurds and Sunni Arabs?”

Good question, indeed. And how will America respond to these attacks from its “ally” Iraq?

 

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MS
Meira Svirsky
Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org