U.S. general commends Iran-backed Shia militias – which U.S. is now arming – in fight for Mosul

U.S. general commends Iran-backed Shia militias – which U.S. is now arming – in fight for Mosul
Iran-backed, Iraqi Shia "Hezbollah" Brigade in May 2015. (Image via Federalist)

[Ed. – One has to wonder how much of this end-of-term, all-masks-coming-off thing is really under Obama’s control, and how much is being forced by, shall we say, a higher power.]

The top commander of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) has lauded the Iran-allied Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), a predominantly Shiite militia umbrella group that also includes individuals who have been deemed terrorists by the United States, for their contribution to the ongoing offensive to retake Sunni majority Mosul.

“Before I got here, I read all kinds of things about the PMF, and I got here and I haven’t observed that behavior,” American Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commander, told the Daily Beast on Christmas Day. “We’re not having allegations of bad behavior or misconduct,” he noted, asserting that the PMF have not endangered U.S. troops yet. …

According to the Daily Beast:

The U.S. has ordinarily eyed these [Iran-backed Shiite] units warily. But Townsend, in an unusual statement for an American commander, said these militias been been “remarkably disciplined” allies since he arrived. That assessment marks a stark contrast with his previous tours, when deadly Iranian-manufactured bombs almost hit his vehicle, and took the lives of many of his troops.

Shortly before the Daily Beast report, the Los Angeles Times has recently learned that, marking a “significant break” in U.S. policy, the U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq have provided hundreds of weapons and training to hundreds of Shiite militias known for being affiliated with Iran, including some the U.S. has designated terrorists and may have American blood on their hands.

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