Saturday, 16 January 2016

Theft and abductions by Shiite militias in Iraq

January 2016
Following the organized crimes committed by Shiite militias in Salahadin Province of Iraq against local Sunnis in cities liberated from ISIS occupation, the U.S. banned the al-Abadi government from allowing their participation in the liberation of cities in Anbar Province. The reason is that Shiite militants supported by the Iranian regime’s Quds Force are gangs of criminals that carry out their measures based on Quds Force demands Iraq. The most important of these objectives is to spread sectarianism and insecurity in Sunni provinces. Ten months after the liberation of cities in Salahadin Province the locals are still unable to return to their homes.

The Shiite militias not taking part in the Anbar operations on one hand, and these groups’ incompetence in fighting independently against ISIS, have placed them under harsh personnel and financial difficulties. Al-Abadi’s government is not able to provide for their expenses. Therefore, based on recommendations provided by the Quds Force, these groups are now resorting to murder and plundering in Baghdad and southern cities in order to pressure the al-Abadi government and dictate their own policies.
Most of the Shiite militias, who have deserted the battlefronts against ISIS in Iraq and lost their grounds for plundering in the Sunni areas, are now resorting to stealing and plundering people’s property and demanding ransom from the people in return for their abducted loved ones. These Shiite militias are stealing and plundering more goods in Baiji, Basra and Baghdad than other cities. Following the operations in Baiji, since the Shiite militias had no serious responsibility in the battlefronts and were running show on money, they began to round up all government assets and property in Salahadin Province. Following their transfer to Baghdad and southern provinces, they began selling these government assets. In some cases, with guidance provided by the Iranian regime, various Shiite militant groups entered the Baiji oil refinery and stole very valuable property and transferred them to Iran. Another group of these Shiite militias formed gangs of thieves and kidnappers in various parts of Baghdad, through which they provide for their income.
1. Stealing government property and selling them to provide the Shiite militants expenses are all taking place under the approval and recommendations of Abu Mahdi Mohandess. He has allowed the Shiite militias and Popular Mobilization Force (PMF) to freely steal and plunder people’s property, telling them despite the fact that there are still problems in obtaining a budget for the PMF, they can provide for their expenses by selling government property.
2. In mid-October Shiite militia groups in Baiji rounded up most of the heavy machinery and government owned assets from the city and the large oil refinery. They then transferred and sold this property in southern provinces.
3. Road and construction machinery such as front-end loaders, bulldozers, hydraulic shovels and various types of large trucks and vehicles, and high-voltage cables were some of the highly valuable government assets stolen and then re-sold by the PMF.
4. Plundering and stealing were not only aimed at government assets, but also the locals who had fled their homes also had their belongings stolen by the PMF. Some of these items were sold in the Iraqi market, while others were transferred to Iran.
5. From late October a large number of PMF members returned to Baghdad and formed bogus groups under various names such as the Intifadieh Movement of Shaabania, Filiye Movement, Jihad Movement and … Currently these groups are using the uniform and vehicles of security forces, and by placing the symbols of military ranking on their clothing they have raided various parts of Iraq under the pretext of inspections. They are actually involved in nothing but plundering people’s property.
6. Each of the gang groups are focusing on specific measures. Some are active in abductions and kidnappings. Members of these groups abduct the individual, whom at times is released in return for ransom, at times they are murdered, and there are even cases when the gangs receive the ransom money and yet murder the abductee anyhow. PMF and Shiite militias, active as kidnapping gangs, are focusing their efforts in the rich areas of Baghdad, such as Mansour, Arasat and Ziune.
7. Various PMF groups in Baghdad are focused on stealing from currency exchange stores and jewelery shops. These groups are mainly active in Baghdad’s streets of Sa’doon, Karadeh Dakhel and Mansour.
8. Newspapers and other media outlets associated to Shiite militia groups and the Shiite alliance attempt to cover up the crimes committed by the PMF by claiming people wearing their uniforms are carrying out theft, murder and abductions to taint the PMF image.
9. Most of the stealing by the Shiite groups from stores and homes of various civilians are carried out in areas such as Mashtal, Baghdad al-Jadida, Hay al-Banuk, al-Mothana and al-Amal.
10. Those branches of the PMF that to this day have remained in the Baiji and Fallujah fronts have lost their spirits due to high casualties, and they are fleeing the front lines under the pretext of going on leave. In the Saqlawiya region of Anbar Province only 120 members of a 280-man battalion remain, while the others have either been killed in attacks, fled the fronts or gone for leave and never returned.

11. Dissent amongst PMF members is even higher in the Baiji front. Due to the sporadic clashes in this region the casualties suffered by the PMF and Shiite militias in the Makhul Heights have increased, lowering their spirits as a result. PMF commanders are asking themselves why do they have to place their efforts to safeguard these gained regions of Sunni areas in Salahadin Province, and face heavy casualties without ever staging any attack of their own.a

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