In a video uploaded to the internet in December, Iraqi militias fighting in the Syrian civil war say Sunni rebels are “the mercenaries of the Jews and the Americans.”
In the video, Sheikh Akram al-Kabi, leader of the al-Nujaba militia which originates in Iraq and which has ties to Lebanon’s Hezbollah organization, calls out slogans which are repeated in a chant by his followers.
“No to America! No to Israel! Death to Sunnis!” he cries.
He berates the “deluded” Sunnis, who he calls “the mercenaries of the Jews and the Americans.”
In a second part of the video an armed militant calls out: “The al-Nujaba movement is ready for war and victory is near, Allah willing.”
Accusations that Jews and Israel are behind the atrocities of the Syrian civil war are common in the Arab world, with the different players accusing one another on various occasions of being Zionist shills.
More than 250,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in Syria’s nearly five-year conflict, which has left the country divided and devastated. Islamic extremists, including the Islamic State group and its rival, the Nusra Front, control roughly half the country.