Militias of popular crowd and the stage of practical preparations for the battle of Mosul

Militias of popular crowd and the stage of practical preparations for the battle of Mosul

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With the acceleration of the efforts of  international coalition against Daesh  to restore the city of Mosul in northern Iraq,  militias of the People crowd  are an obstacle to achieving the aspirations of the coalition forces; while the latter refuses  strongly the participation of  militias of  popular crowd in the battle,  the militia insists on its  presence in the battle in any way.  It  is worth noting that the militias entered  the stage of  practical preparations for the participation  in  the battle of Mosul , critical in the course of the war against al Daesh in Iraq, surpassing the strong objections from various parties on that  participation, and based on political cover by senior Shiite party leaders and authority figures, led by Prime Minister Haider Abadi. And regarding  preparations for the upcoming battle  is  the formation of a joint operations room between militias and government forces on a proposal by the leader of the Badr militia  in the popular crowd Hadi al-Amiri and  secretary-general of Nujaba Movement, Akram al-Kaabi, during a meeting of the two parties, on Wednesday, in the capital Baghdad.

After the end of the meeting ,the  Nujaba movement issued a statement saying that the Secretary-General of the Movement, Akram al-Kaabi discussed with Hadi al-Ameri the new formation of  the  authority of  popular crowd  and preparations to participate in the ongoing battle of Mosul . The statement added that the two sides proposed the formation of a joint operations room with the security forces to administrate  the battle. And  what was  issued by Hadi al-Amiri  and Akram al-Kaabi was inseparable from the big publicity stunt carried out by the militias and the Shiite parties in Iraq, to ​​suggest that the participation of the popular crowd at the Battle of Mosul beyond the discussion stage and has become one of the constants and postulates.

As far as the face of such participation of objections by the Iraqi political parties, and the inhabitants of Mosul itself, and the tribes of the Nineveh province, generally, based on the Shiite militias practices against the Sunni population  of  many areas that have already participated in its retrieval  from Daash,  and  in return  , it  has received the strong political support  by the government and  Shiites party leaders . Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, on Tuesday repeated  his assurance, saying that the popular crowd will participate in the  operations of restoration of the city of Mosul , thus supporting the words of Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari  that there  is nothing to prevent the participation of the crowd in those operations .

The bad reputation of  Shiite militias  in Mosul already  proved  and still to  prove  by practical practices of   militias  of popular crowd that it were deviated from the true aim of its creation, as if that goal was just outwardly target that hides in the core the appearance and reality,   revealed by real practices. A case can be made of these practices as those militias to deepen the  vertical “sectarian” divide of the  community in Iraq through the shameful practices against the people of the Sunni component in  the Sunni provinces. As such practices  have reached  up to the level of crimes against human rights and these crimes include “the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, these crimes  according to the Article V of the Statute of the International Criminal Court applies to the actions of the militias of the popular crowd in the rest of the Sunni provinces.

One of the latest victims of the militias of the  popular crowd  uncovered by local tribal sources in the province of Salahuddin, northern Iraq, on Friday, for the militias “popular crowd” campaign of new displacement, touched on dozens of families South of the province , while local officials confirmed the seizure of the militias over large areas of land, and distribute them to their dead  people . A member of notables council  of the town of Dhuluiya , South Salahuddin, Mohammed Khalaf al-Jubouri, in a media statement that the militia “Badr, and the Kataib  of ahl-al-Haq ( League of the Righteous),  and Saraya Al-Salam”, which operates within the “popular crowd” forces,  last night and this morning told  about 90 families in the town to leave their homes within 72 hours, adding that “elements of the militia threatened to detain violators, on charges of terrorism.”Al-Jubouri  pointed out   that “militias justified the displacement of the residents beacause they are relatives of the elements in the organization Daesh, expressing fear of a new  waves  displacement in the region. In the same  context ,  a member of the local council in Dhuluiya, Ali Hamad Faris, confirmed  that militias of “popular crowd”  seized large swathes of the territory of the town, and distributed to their dead people  who have died during the battles with the organization “Daesh” in Salahuddin. And  Ali Hamad Faris  pointed out that the militias  have distributed lands within the project called it “compensate the martyrs of the popular crowd.”

And among  the victims of the crowd are also residents of Khalidiya Island area in Anbar province in western Iraq, which accounted for until the end of last month, the last stronghold of the organization Daesh in the east of the city of Ramadi, the provincial capital, where  its inhabitants found  themselves after the redemption  of  the organization to confront the excesses of the Shiite militia members who took part in the fighting to restore the region and to take hold of  its territory and they began conducting the “laws” on the population with impunity and commit reprisals against them on sectarian back grounds as   the Sunni must – from the  perspective of   Shiites  militias – to prove lack of cooperation with al Daesh during the occupation of their areas.

The news agency Anatolia quoted that  Sheikh Jabbar al-Dulaimi, one of the elders of Khalidiya Island, saying that the area located about thirty kilometers west of Ramadi, was considered one of the most important stronghold of al Daesh that dominated y it  in the early 2014. Al- Dulaimi  added that the organization has seized the homes of officers and members of   security  services  and tribal leaders and civilians who reject its  idea, and then stole all of its contents and  burning  it and the execution of many young people  of Khalidiya brutality in different ways , having accused them of collaboration with the security forces when they took control of the area.  Al-Dulaimi, said also “We were happy  to hear the starting of the operation   to liberate  the  Khalidiya island  from the  organization of  Daesh  at the end of last month, but were surprised by the participation of the popular crowd in the operation  without the participation of tribal fighters.” And that operation  was began shelling violently to these militias by rockets and mortars indiscriminately into all regions despite the existence of a very weak  resistance of the elements  of the organization Daesh , pointing out that the organization elements were  pulled out in front of the popular crowd fighters when they entered the Khalidiya island regions without knowing the reasons  .Al- Dulaimi expressed about his  fears and  residents of the area after  the  elements of the popular crowd started to commit acts of reprisals in the areas of the island after the withdrawal of Daesh from it  , where  dozens of homes were burned after stealing its contents of the furniture, pointing out that the argument of the crowd that those houses where the  terrorists  were  present .

The formation of a joint operations room between militias and government forces  is only  a confirmation by militias leaders  of the popular crowd  for their participation in the liberation of Mosul, and this formation  is also sending out a challenging message internally and externally  for all those who oppose their participation in the battle of Mosul, and since  a battle of Mosul is the battle  of the  Iranian regime  in Iraq as Mosul is considered the most important Iraqi cities and most dangerous ones  for it ; because it    represents  the last  cohesive force  for ” the Sunnis”   of Iraq ,  that it is  possible to rise   and collect the Sunni Diaspora, after the Sunni cities in Iraq, such as Anbar and Fallujah, Salahuddin are  turned to be areas  unsuitable for living , after the  destruction of its infrastructure due to the fighting, which is expected  to Mosul in the event of  entrance of  the militias, as agreed upon by observers. In this context, the media revealed the movements of Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, confirmed that Soleimani arrived on the outskirts of liberated cities in the south of Mosul, and he will command the militias in the upcoming battle, as he did in the battle to liberate Fallujah, in June last year.

The Iranian regime played a major role in the war against al Daesh in  Iraq, as  it actively involved either directly through military advisers, or by proxy through  the Shiite militias of popular crowd , in several battles  in the provinces of Diyala, Salahuddin and Anbar, and  direct attendance record  of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. So the fear pervaded in  the inside and outside Iraq of great prominence of the militias of  popular crowd, which is seen by observers of the Iraqi affairs as it was considered  as  an Iranian disguised army of occupation  of Iraq , especially in light of the collapse that has befallen to the regular Iraqi forces, with the control of the organization Daesh to vast areas of the country, in  the summer of 2014 . From this angle, it is worth noting that  to make way for the militias of popular crowd to participate heavily in the battle of Mosul, would mean an opportunity for the Iranian regime to turn its political influence in Iraq to the actual field control. And isolate it from  the Arab world, especially with the Gulf Arab states in Iraq in a stage  after the Daesh .And it may open the door to civil wars in Iraq of  sectarian and ethnic dimensions.

Throughout the stages of the war  on the  organization of  Daesh,  the  assistance  of militias of popular crowd in battles and taking hold  of the ground  represented  a matter of sharp debate mainly focused on the negative role of the sectarian formations in pushing the conflict with the organization toward sectarian slider in a way that  may  enhance the organization  itself with the   reasons for continuation of life even after its military defeat .


Rawabet Center for  Research and Strategic Studies