A question recently on my mind is that what individual or group is running the show in Iraq, and where is the future of this country leading to?
To answer this question I will refer to a number of recent developments in Iraq to maybe reach the answer I’m looking for.
- Murder and abduction in Iraqi cities, especially Baghdad, by Shiite militias is on a rampage, and Iraqi security forces simply cannot confront this phenomenon. The blood of an Iraqi citizen has become cheaper than water. Shiite militias with double-axel vehicles and tinted windows are seen roaming the streets of Baghdad, and more importantly abducting their targets in Sunni areas. A few days later the abducted body is found dead and at times mutilated in a corner of Baghdad. For someone who follows the events in Baghdad, on a daily basis I am faced with numerous cases of these abductions, and unidentified bodies found with bullet wounds in their heads. The method used by these groups is that after the individual is abducted the family is contacted and $400,000 to $500,000 is demanded for their release. However, after some bargaining they lower the price. The significant part is that when security forces become aware of the issue they are not willing to enter such a predicament and place their lives in danger. In many cases the kidnappers receive the money and then kill their victim and hand over the body to the family.
- On December 18th a Shiite militia group attacked the Imam Ali Hospital in east Baghdad and clashed with the hospital security force. They entered the building and began beating the medical staff and physicians. As a result, all the patients and medical staff evacuated the building.
- On December 17th a Shiite militia group in the city of Najaf began abducting a number of Qatar citizens who had come to Iraq for hunting. In a phone call between the Qatar Prime Minister and his Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi the latter denied any knowledge of this account; whereas the Shiite militia group had demanded the release of a Shiite mullah jailed in Saudi Arabia in return for the release of the abducted Qatar citizens.
- On December 16th Katayeb Hezbollah declared they had carried a rocket attack against the Ba’ishaqiya Base located east of the city of Mosul where Turkish military officers were training Sunni forces for the fight against ISIS. More than 100 rockets were fired in this attack, leaving many Turkish officers and soldiers killed and wounded. The Iraqi government continues to deny any knowledge in this regard.
-On October 29th the same group launched rockets from downtown Baghdad and from a distance of only 3 kilometers they targeted the Baghdad International Airport, firing more than 80 specially enhanced Russian-design 122mm Katiusha rockets from a flat-bed truck readied to be deployed and missiles for firing. They targeted an Iranian dissidents’ camp that left 24 people killed and hundreds of others wounded. The Iraqi government has yet to be able to take any action in this regard despite the fact that it is obvious who carried out the attack.
- September 2nd in downtown Baghdad a convoy of Shiite militias attacked a construction workshop of a Turkish company, abducting 18 Turkish engineers and workers and transferring them to an unknown location. One of the workers had a mobile phone with him and informed the Turkish Embassy of the location of the prison where they were held. Iraqi Army forces were dispatched to the area where they clashed with the Shiite militant. Three soldiers were killed and a number of Army forces were arrested by the Shiite militias. Finally, the Shiite militias transferred the Turkish hostages out of Baghdad, and the Iraqi government could not stop them. The Shiite militias’ demand is the same raised by the Iranian regime, meaning Turkey backing down from their stances in Syria. Finally, the Turk hostages were released a month later with the Iranian regime’s mediation.
- Following ISIS crimes in Paris and San Bernardino in the U.S., Mr. Obama has decided to get a bit more serious in the war against ISIS, and he has now called for sending special military forces for the fight against ISIS. However, the Iranian regime is not so interested in such measures and with their Shiite militias Tehran imposed such pressure on al-Abadi until he finally opposed this issue. From a politically logical perspective and an anti-ISIS policy, al-Abadi should have welcomed this move that the U.S. has been willing to send ground forces to inflict blows to ISIS in Iraq.
There are plenty of such cases in Baghdad and other areas in Iraq. This is separate from all the crimes committed by ISIS against people in areas under their control. Now, the question is that how are these militia groups formed and established, and who is their main backer?
All Shiite militia groups in Iraq supported by the Iranian regime, providing them with money and arms. All their crimes are committed under the guidance and orders issued by the Iranian regime’s Quds Force. The main commander of all Shiite militias in Iraq during Nouri al-Maliki’s tenure was the prime minister himself. After he has been set aside these forces are now under the command of 9th Badr Corps commander Hadi al-Ameri who had lived in Iran for years. He was a known Revolutionary Guards officer. His deputy is a terrorist by the name of Abu Mahdi al-Mohandess, an individual on the U.S. most wanted list for taking part in the killings of American soldiers in Iraq. He is very much loyal to the Iranian regime’s Quds Force.
After this introduction we can now answer the above question: in Iraq Shiite militia groups associated to the Iranian regime’s Quds Force are the true rulers of this land, and Mr. al-Abadi, as the Iraqi Prime Minister, is actually too weak that he cannot show any reaction to their measures.
Now we can easily answer the question of how ISIS was able to take over one third of Iraq, and why Iraqi security forces, despite the support of a U.S.-led international coalition and continuous airstrikes against ISIS for over a year now, have not been able to retake areas controlled by ISIS.
The future of Iraq is very opaque and there is no perspective for the people of this country. The Iraqi people have stories to tell about the unending meddling by the Iranian regime and the Shiite militants in their country. They also would like to express their gratitude to the U.S. government for placing their beautiful country in a silver plate and presenting it to the Iranian regime. 13 years after the overthrow of the previous Iraqi government, what has been provided to these people has been nothing but murder, crimes, hunger and a life full of misery, while the U.S. claims to have brought freedom to Iraq.