, July 22, 2106
A senior official with Iraq’s Hezbollah Brigades praised ‘Iran for supporting the Iraqi people and hailed its major role in recent advances of the Arab nation against foreign-backed militants, including Daesh Takfiri terrorists.’
Sheikh Abu Talib al-Saeedi told the pro-Iranian regime Tansim News Agency that since the occupation of the Iraqi northern city of Mosul and Salahuddin Province by the Daesh terrorist group, Iran has provided military support for the Iraqi government, told the Tasnim News Agency.
If it had not been for the Islamic Republic’s backing for Iraq, the Daesh terrorists would have reached Baghdad, the official added.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Saeedi pointed to the recent advances of the Iraqi army troops and volunteer forces in their anti-Daesh campaign, saying that the forces are now preparing to liberate Mosul.
Contrary to pro-Shia sources, the Iran-backed Shiite militias’ commitment to the fight against ISIS has demonstrated sectarian aims with little respect to Sunni civilians. In Tikrit, 200 Sunni civilians were abducted, and several hundred homes to Sunnis were demolished by the Shia Hezbollah Brigades and League of the Righteous Forces. Reports of Shia militias indiscriminately targeting civilians in Ramadi remain unclear, but more recently in Fallujah, they tortured more than a thousand civilians, beating them while dragging them by car. In every Sunni, they see an inhuman enemy, with a militiaman saying that “80%” of Sunnis are part of ISIS.
Human rights violations have virtually become a national security risk—the intelligence community has said that because of fears of the Shia militias’ participation in the fight against ISIS, “Iraq’s Sunnis will remain willing to endure some deprivation under ISIL rule.”
To reign the militias in and perhaps because militias are prohibited by Iraq’s constitution, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi adopted the militias be part of Popular Mobilisation Forces as part of Iraq’s armed forces earlier this year, while calling for the appointment of thousands of Sunnis to the PMF. A prison was also established for human rights offenders last year, but these measures have translated into little accountability.
According to the Human Rights Watch, more than 90 men of the Hezbollah Battalions tortured at least 600 civilians during last month’s Fallujah assault, but as of July, only “four or five” were arrested. Basam Ridha, the Washington representative of the PMF, said that “The reality is that they do cover for each other,” making it impossible to find credible witnesses. “They have done a lot of vicious activities… but they get away with it.”