Iran-backed Iraqi militias prepare assault on Fallujah, reject U.S. support

Iran-backed Iraqi militias prepare assault on Fallujah, reject U.S. support
Soleimani keeps it down low in the battle for Ramadi. Pal Hadi Al-Amiri on viewer's right. (Image via Twitter)

Despite concerns over heightened sectarian strife, Shiite militiamen continue to pour into Iraq’s Sunni heartland of Anbar province with the initial hope of recapturing Fallujah, the first major Iraqi city to fall to the Islamic State group last year.

As the U.S. prepares to send an additional 450 personnel to Iraq, the Iranian-backed militias say that coalition assistance only hurts their efforts, contradicting statements by the Iraqi government that more international support is needed. …

The [Shia militia] Popular Mobilization Forces were called to battle in Anbar after the fall of Ramadi, despite concerns that their involvement in the province would antagonize the Sunni population, and they are now setting their sights on Fallujah.

“We think the liberation of Fallujah will allow us to enter Ramadi without any fighting, so the battle that we are preparing is the battle of Fallujah,” Hadi al-Amiri, the head of the Popular Mobilization Forces, told journalists Friday at an outpost on the Salahuddin-Anbar border. …

Many of the Shiite fighters, including Ahsan and his uncle, Salah Mahdi, believe that airstrikes have been a hindrance to their efforts to recapture territory — and in some cases, have been deadly.

“We know of Hashd al-Shaabi fighters who were killed by the American planes,” Mahdi said, using the commonly known Arabic name for the Popular Mobilization Forces. “If they really wanted to help us, then they would leave Iraqis to liberate Iraq by themselves.”

Continue reading →


Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.