13 December 2017
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The Islamic Republic continues on its path of death and destruction. A conglomerate of Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq, known as the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), or more commonly by the Arabic label al-Hashd al-Shaabi, pose a very dire threat for the future of Iraq. This sectarian group of dangerous armed elements is resorting to any and all crimes with the objective of pursuing Tehran’s policies across Mesopotamia. The PMU, established back in the mid-2014, has taken part in the battles…
BAGHDAD — On Dec. 26, the leader of the Sadrist movement, Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to discuss the reform project advanced by Sadr over a year ago through popular protests against those accused of corruption. One of those blamed was former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, currently one of Iraq’s vice presidents.The meeting came after a series of demonstrations against Maliki, who has been visiting Shiite cities in central and southern Iraq. Anti-Maliki demonstrations in the…
BRUSSELS, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- When President Barack Obama leaves the White House later this month, he will leave behind a shocking legacy of death and destruction in the Middle East. His foreign policy vision, which saw the United States focus on cooperation with Iran as its core strategy, has unlocked a Pandora's box of conflict and sectarian strife across the zone. Obama has now belatedly, during the closing days of his administration, come to realize that the nuclear deal with Iran and…
Now that the collapse of Islamic State is within sight in Iraq, a lot rides on whether the Iraqi Shiite militias taking part in that campaign will stop at the international border or will cross into Syria in coming months and open a new phase of that country’s war. The Hashed al-Shaabi or Popular Mobilization Forces, which unite several of Iraq’s powerful Shiite militias, were established to combat Islamic State in mid-2014. At the time, the regular Iraqi army collapsed…
'This is the most joyful time of the year. We are one people,' say shoppers in Baghdad A tall, glittering tree erected outside a shopping centre in Baghdadcould be considered an incongruous display of Christmas festivity in mainly-Muslim Iraq. But the 7-metre-high tree at Sama Mall in the south east of the capital, adorned with tinsel, stars and bells, is one of a number of decorations put up by residents and business owners in solidarity with the country’s Christian minority. Muslim businessman Yassir Saad…
IRBIL, Iraq — The Iraqi parliament passed a law Saturday making militia units, including ­Iranian-backed groups accused of human rights abuses, an official part of the country’s security forces. Lawmakers passed the measure 208 to 0 in a session that was boycotted by most Sunni politicians, who opposed an initiative that extends the influence of powerful Shiite groups that many Iraqi Sunnis view with suspicion. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi praised the law, saying that it gave due to fighters who…
For months prior to the offensive, Iran, and its Iraqi proxies pressured the Iraqi government to accept the militias’ role in the Mosul offensive, a move that could give them a share of victory and provide them with a pretext to justify their activities long after the defeat of ISIS. That would secure Iran’s influence in Iraq that predominantly relies on these militias, a prospect that many believe to be the Hezbollah-ization of Iraq. On October 29, the Iraqi Popular…
ERBIL, Iraq — As Iraq comes closer to ejecting the Islamic State from its last major stronghold in the country, the question is no longer whether it can succeed. The question is whether it will all have to be done again someday. Even a complete military victory over the Sunni extremists in Mosul will not change the reality that there is still no political agreement in place, or even basic trust, that could reconcile Iraq’s Sunni Arab minority with the…
These days, Gen. David Petraeus is far from the battlefield. Petraeus, who retired in 2011, works in New York as a partner at the private equity firm KKR and is chairman of the KKR Global Institute. In his spare time, the retired four-star general is a professor at the City University of New York and the University of Southern California and a senior fellow at Harvard. But his mind is never far from the global issues that confront the United…
U.S.-trained and armed Iraqi military units, the key to the American strategy against ISIS, are under investigation for committing some of the same atrocities as the terror group, American and Iraqi officials told ABC News. Some Iraqi units have already been cut off from U.S. assistance over "credible" human rights violations, according to a senior military official on the Pentagon's Joint Staff. The investigation, being conducted by the Iraqi government, was launched after officials were confronted with numerous allegations of…
BRUSSELS, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Preparations for the battle of Mosul are well underway. Mosul is Iraq's second-largest city with a population of around 2 million. It has been held by the Islamic State, also known as Daesh, since 2014 and is hailed by the terrorist group as the capital of its self-proclaimed caliphate. Now Iraqi forces, backed by U.S.-coalition airstrikes and with technical support from 500 American troops, have recaptured four villages on the outskirts of Mosul -- Tal…

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