15 October 2014
Amnesty International report doubles the imperative for the United States and Prime Minister al-Abadi swiftly to oust Iranian regime from Iraq
The recent shocking report by Amnesty International on the crimes committed by Shia militias affiliated with the Iranian regime in Iraq demands immediate measures by the US government and the international coalition to cut off the long arm of Iran.
The 28-page report entitled “ABSOLUTE IMPUNITY, MILITIA RULE IN IRAQ” was published on 14 October 2014. It describes as war crimes and crimes against humanity the atrocities committed by the Shia militias. It says: “Shia militias, supported and armed by the government of Iraq, have abducted and killed scores of Sunni civilians in recent months and enjoy total impunity for these war crimes….Shia militias are ruthlessly targeting Sunni civilians on a sectarian basis under the guise of fighting terrorism, in an apparent bid to punish Sunnis for the rise of the IS (ISIS) and for its heinous crimes.”
In the absence of an active campaign by the United States and the new government in Iraq to rid the country of domination by the Iranian regime, the mullahs will continue to exploit the airstrikes and military attacks by the coalition to expand further their influence and to drag Iraq back to the days of dark sectarian oppression by Nouri al-Maliki.
Based on accurate and documented reports, Tehran holds all the strings related to these militias, including the 9 Badr, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, Kata’ib Hezbollah. These militias receive their training in Iran and also receive their orders directly from the terrorist Quds Force (QF). The commander in chief of all militias in Iraq is Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. His deputy and Chief of Staff of Operations is Abu Mehdi Mohandess.
We believe that the Amnesty International report represents a first major test for the new Prime Minister of Iraq Mr. Haider al-Abadi. He has to adopt a firm stance against the ruling theocracy in Iran and all its criminal militias and proxies and clean up the governmental, military and security institutions of the mullahs’ agents. Otherwise it will be quite impossible for him to overcome the current crisis in Iraq and defeat ISIS. Only through such steps he can secure the support of the Iraqi people, including the Sunnis, as well as the support of the international community and the regional states. Given the Iranian regime’s 8-year reign in Iraq under Maliki and its extensive influence, this is not easy but is absolutely essential.
According to Amnesty International, most of these Shia militias, including the following, are directly associated with Iran:
- The Badr Brigades10 (or Badr Corps or Badr Organization), the military wing of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC), created in the 1980s with the backing of Iran to fight the regime of Saddam Hussein, and currently headed by Hadi al-Ameri, who also heads the Badr Organization political party and served as Transport Minister in the Government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki [until September 2014].
- The ‘Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous),12 established around 2005 as a splinter group of the Mahdi Army under the leadership of Qais al-Khaz’ali and linked to General Qassem Suleimani. It is believed to be currently the most powerful of the Shi’a militias; in the past two years some of its members have been fighting in Syria alongside Syrian government forces battling Sunni armed opposition groups.
- The Kata’ib Hizbullah (Hizbullah Brigades),13 unrelated to the Lebanese Hizbullah and reportedly an offshoot of the Mahdi Army’s “Special Groups”.
EIFA is currently preparing a comprehensive and accurate report on the militias in Iraq.
Struan Stevenson, Chairman of European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq (2009-2014) and President of European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA)