The Iraqi Sadrist movement leader has accused Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi militias linked to Iran regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) of being behind the kidnapping operation in Iraq.
Muqtada al-Sadr said in a statement that putting huge military, security, and political facilities in the hands of an obscene, despicable militia group means allowing weapon to rule over people.
“It’s necessary that the activists and journalists be protected against these militias”, stressed Muqtada Sadr, adding “the security forces need to be fully authorized to deal with anyone who harms people’s security.”
He added that the kidnapping operation currently underway in Iraq will be intensified following the government’s recapture of the occupied areas.
Meanwhile, Iraqi PM Haidar al-Abadi has said that kidnapping is an act of terrorism and a violation of Iraqi’s freedom of expression. “The kidnappers want to scare people and anyone who dares to criticize them”, said Abadi, something he vowed not to let happen by taking decisive measures.
Earlier, Iraqi vice president Osama Nujaifi had said the Iraqi government deals with kidnapping cases selectively and from a political, partisan standpoint, adding that thousands of Iraqis have been kidnapped by militia groups, for which the Iraqi government is legally and morally responsible.
Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi and its history
Formed in June 2014, Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi is a mix of Iranian regime-backed militia groups, being militarily and financially supported by the regime.
In addition to receiving Iranian regime’s financial and military support, the group is also backed by the Iraqi government that is seeking to provide them with legal protection as well as millions of dollars of the country’s budget.
Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi has accommodated 70 different militia groups, with the biggest one being the Badr Organization, a group linked to Badr Corps leaded by Hadi al-Amiri, one of Iranian regime’s main hirelings. Among other groups comprising Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi are such groups as Asa’ib, commanded by Qais Khazali, Hezbollah, headed by Akram al-Kaabi, and the so-called Abolfazl-al-Abbas brigade.
All the groups take their orders from the Iranian regime, with most of them pledging allegiance to the regime leader Khamenei.
In addition to providing the groups with weapons, money, and consultations, the Iranian regime also sends Revolutionary Guards and terrorist Quds Force commanders to help the groups with their killing of people and creating an atmosphere of fear.
In addition to Iraq, the militias also fight in Syria alongside Assad forces. They have countless cases of violating the rights of the residents in areas they have entered, including the provinces of Diali, Salaheddin, Al-Anbar, as well as Bagdad Ring, with kidnapping, killing, burning corpses, torturing, executing, and exploding people’s houses being part of their crimes.