Iran-backed militia denounces Iraqi crackdown

One of the largest Iran-backed militias in Iraq is criticizing an order by the prime minister to incorporate the militias into the military and place them under the army’s command.

A statement issued by the Hezbollah Brigades, or Kataib Hezbollah, does not say if the group will abide by Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi’s orders issued this week.

In this June 23, 2017 file photo, supporters of Iraqi Hezbollah brigades, backed by Iran, march on a representation of an Israeli flag with a portrait of late Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini and Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in Baghdad, Iraq. (AP/Hadi Mizban)

It suggests, however, that “criminalizing the mujahedeen” and harming them directly or indirectly may hurt “those elements supporting the security effort.”

The group, which has close ties to Iran, says the government’s foremost responsibility is to remove what it describes as US occupation forces and their business affiliates, which constitute a “major threat” to Iraqi security.

— AP