reveals Washington fears and "serious shift" in the Iraqi elections began by Abadi[/size][You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
5 hours ago
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced this month an unexpected political alliance with the pro-Iranian militia leader, Foreign Policy said in a report Thursday. Hadi al-Amiri, head of the Badr Organization, was to join Ebadi's political parties coalition, which is due to run for elections next May.
This alliance between Abadi and al-Amiri exposed some criticism from different political circles in Iraq. The prime minister, long regarded by Western governments nationally as one of the political enemies of al-Amiri. A few days earlier, the two sides exchanged insults and accusations, with Abbadi criticizing militias allied with Amiri.
Although the proposed coalition was dissolved a day later, it raised concerns within the United States and other Western governments, which have always considered the so-called Popular Popular Forces, such as Badr, to be the fifth Iranian columnist, US policy.
"You have to see it through what I think is Iran's biggest policy in the region," Ryan Crocker, the former US ambassador to Iraq, said in a statement.
As the fighting against the "Islamic state" subsides, the issue of popular mobilization forces becomes increasingly important, raising international fears of sectarian tension and increasing Iranian influence in Iraq against the established political and military forces within the state.
The popular mobilization forces, formed in the wake of 2014, are a group of militias formed in the face of the march of a nationwide organization. Although most powerful and influential groups are Iranian-backed Shiite groups, including the Badr Organization, many of them are local units that have responded to nationalist calls by powerful religious figures such as Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
Not all of these groups are linked to Tehran, the US military said.
There are Christian, Yezidi, and Shiite forces that are not linked to Iran, "said Maj. Adrian Rankin Galloway, a spokesman for the US Department of Defense.
Popular crowd forces provide support to the army
Now that the fighting has slowed down in most parts of the country, many of these militia units, especially at the local level, continue to provide support to the Iraqi army deployed throughout the country. "The police and the army are deployed in most parts of the country, and the popular mobilization forces are not elite units, but they are contributing to an increase in the number of personnel that are already needed," said Sajjad Jayyad, head of the Baghdad-based Center for Planning and Studies, a research center based in Baghdad.
However, the process of finding effective wording for integrating these groups into the Iraqi security forces is now emerging as a sensitive issue in Iraq following the fall of a hawkish organization. Some current officials believe that US policy is not yet in line.
"Most of the decisions made in Iraq and Syria over the past years have been aimed at eliminating an oppressive organization, and although we have succeeded in achieving that goal, our options have not changed now to consider how to eliminate the idea of organizing (The Islamic state) in a real way. "
Without the US budget for 2018, US military assistance to the Iraqi army - one of the main ways the United States takes power in this process - is also limited. Military assistance can stop the demobilization of some groups. Otherwise, the only way for the United States to exercise influence is to hold "bilateral talks through the State Department and the military," said one of the other congressional deputies.
Some US policy makers have acknowledged the role of the popular mobilization forces over the past years, as well as the political path that the Iraqi prime minister must now take. Many units throughout Iraqi society have been commended for their role in defeating the Dahesh organization. An American official, who declined to be named to talk about the ongoing discussions, likened it to a moderate Republican candidate.
"There is a political balance between Abadi and the desire to reintegrate the popular mobilization forces and to completely disband them," Foreign Policy quoted the official as saying.
Elections are the entry point for militias with political ambitions
However, other current and former officials have pointed out that the failure to formally integrate parts of the popular mobilization forces into the official Iraqi security forces or dismantle some militias in full could destabilize the government and exacerbate sectarian animosity across the country.
The May 2018 elections provide a potential entry point for some groups with political ambitions. After the call by Ayatollah Sistani in late 2017 calling on the groups to give up their weapons, some of these groups separated their military and political wings. The leaders of other popular mobilization forces, such as Amiri, are former cabinet ministers seeking to regain their posts.
The seriousness of their political ambitions
However, this shift poses a threat to Iraq's policy structure and paves the way for some potentially dangerous trends, said Felix Willie, a senior Iraqi researcher at Human Rights Watch. "To this day, when the popular mobilization forces have committed any violations, they are considered stray and corrupt, and if they are now political parties, that gives them a very important cover," Foreign Policy quoted them as saying.
For their part, Iraqi government officials have eased concerns about the dangers posed by the popular mobilization forces. "There is a law regulating the status of the popular mobilization forces as part of the Iraqi security system," said an Iraqi official, who declined to be named. Some of these troops are likely to return to normal civilian life or give up their weapons.
Jayyad, from the center of the statement, said the matter, noting that popular opinion strongly supports the idea of demobilization. "The public does not want to see these leaders heading a party or a militia," he said.
However, the leaders of the popular mobilization forces, especially those who have made sacrifices during their struggle against a sympathetic organization, have undeniable political influence in the post-conflict phase of Iraq; in some areas with a Sunni majority.
"You find that there is confidence in the politicians of the popular mobilization forces that go beyond the trust of politicians from the Green Zone [the heavily guarded government area in Baghdad]," said Jyyad. .