Sunday, 18 October 2015

Impact of nuclear deal on Quds Force-backed militias in Iraq

October 2015
Following the final touches of the nuclear accord between the West and Iran, very immediate impacts can be seen on the Quds Force apparatus, being Iran’s main force of exporting terrorism. One such scene is the groups associated to the Quds Force in Iraq. I have received a considerable amount of information about the status of these militia groups in Iraq on which I will shed light below:

 Difference between Badr militia commanders in Iraq
Following the blows suffered by the Quds Force and its militia groups in Salahaddin Province, and finally with the United States entering the scene and launching intense airstrikes on ISIS positions, they were able to enter the city of Tikrit. The Quds Force intended to show its strength by completing the Tikrit scene with a significant victory in Anbar Province and liberating the city of Fallujah, and thus boast its abilities to the US. Therefore, despite opposition from the Iraqi government and US, the Quds Force rallied all its militia groups in Iraq to take over the city of Fallujah. However, in the first days of this campaign it endured heavy casualties, especially in the Saqlawiya axes where the Badr Organization suffered heavy blows and a number of its main commanders were killed. This rose into major divides and disputes between the Badr ranks and files, leaving the Quds Force unable to provide arms, weapons and the necessary finances to its militia in Iraq. This resulted in much of these troops deserting their positions and fleeing for home.
Due to the high casualties and large number of defections, only 3 of the initial 8 Badr combat brigades are left after they were formed through the span of the past year. Disputes amongst the commanders of battalions and brigades have flared, leading to the resignation of some of these so-called officers. For example, Abu Torab al-Basar, commander of the Badr brigade in Basra, resigned some time ago. He was in prison when US forces were still in Iraq and was known to cooperate with the Iranian regime. Abu Foras Hamedani and Ghasan Khadran were also with him, and along with an individual by the name of Salah Bahr they, too, were known for their cooperation with Tehran. Some of these individuals were released after the Americans left Iraq. Problems amongst the Badr commanders are quite serious and even some of them have left Iraq for Lebanon and the UAE.

High casualties amongst militias
The Badr forces and other militia groups suffered heavy casualties during the clashes in Baiji and Anbar. A large number of those killed were from the southern provinces, Karbala and Najaf. They were secretly transferred to their cities at nights to leave a lesser social impact on the people and prevent any lowering of spirits amongst militia forces and the Shiites. In recent operations in Baiji the militants and Popular Mobilization Forces have suffered significantly heavy casualties.

Badr offices stealing from the public in southern provinces
Recently Badr forces, being one of the main Quds Force-backed militia groups with a long history of killing and repressing the Iraqi people, has been seen requesting large amounts of various public goods such as rice, cooking oil, sugar and … in southern provinces through their local networks, all under the pretext of sending them to the battlefronts. However, they have been actually selling these goods on the market and using them for their own needs. Whereas, these same forces are also receiving a large amount of such supplies from the central government and the Iranian regime, using it all for their own personal purposes. These cases of theft have made logistics in the southern provinces plunge into dire conditions and in some fronts the forces are facing serious food and water shortages. This in itself is causing many to flee their battlefronts.

Increasing inflation and kidnapping in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities
After the Quds Force failed to meet the financial demands of these people that bubbled their growth at too fast a pace they resorted to assassinations and kidnappings, including Katayeb Hezbollah militias, known as the ‘Death Squads’, abducting Turk workers in Baghdad. They only released them after negotiating with the Turkish government, with Baghdad acting as the intermediary. The number of abductions and social theft in Iraq has expanded significantly and these militia groups are continuously abducting especially Baghdad residents and are seeking ransom in ways that security forces are forced to ban any commuting by tinted-glass government vehicles that are used by these militia groups, and also any other vehicles without license plates or temporary license plates in Baghdad. These are desperate measures aimed at somehow preventing these crimes.

Missiles stolen from army warehouses in Addora
Iraqi security organs are very much concerned of widespread theft by militia groups and Popular Mobilization Forces from warehouses belonging to the government, the Defense Ministry and army bases, because militia forces are seen entering these warehouses and/or bases by force with large convoys. They stole whatever they wish and no one would dare prevent them. One example is the missiles stolen from the Addawar Bridge near Taji north of Baghdad, and later on fired towards Fort Nasr at Baghdad International Airport.

Measures taken by Hadi al-Ameri and Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes against the al-Abadi government

After al-Abadi was forced to announce reforms in Iraq under pressure from the popular demonstrations, the Quds Force and its associated militia groups saw their very existence threatened and launched measures against the Prime Minister. Currently al-Abadi is very concerned about measures and meddling by Hadi al-Ameri and Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes in government affairs and their opposition to government reforms. Maliki, continuously seeking to plot and carry out conspiracies against al-Abadi, is using these individuals. All their inspections or sessions are held with such goals.  

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