17 September 2014

In the fight against ISIS, Shiite militias and US forces find themselves on the same side but will not work together

Identified in 2008 by American officials as the biggest threat to US forces, Asaib Ahl al-Haq and the US military are now fighting on the same side, though each insists that they will not work together, The New York Times reports. According to the same source, Asaib Ahl ah-Haq or The League of the Righteous, considered to be the most formidable of Iraq’s three large Iranian-backed militias, is now spearheading the fight against the Sunny extremists of the Islamic State.

Amidst a stringent lack of official attempts to investigate highly publicised allegations of extrajudicial killings of Sunnis by Asaib Ahl al-Haq and Sunni minority fears that the militias are nothing more than agents of Iran, empowered by the Baghdad government to kill with impunity, The New York Times underlines that the power and autonomy of Asaib Ahl al-Haq and other Shiite militias also pose a central challenge to the creation of a more just and less sectarian Iraqi government- element which US President Barack Obama, has declared as indispensable in the attempt to undercut the appeal of the Sunni extremists and avoid American entanglement in a sectarian war.

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Source: The New York Times | Shiite Militias Pose Challenge for U.S. in Iraq
Source: The Washington Post | Iranian-backed militant group in Iraq is recasting itself as a political player
Source: HRW | Iraq: Pro-Government Militias’ Trail of Death

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