Asaib Ahl Al Huq

Status:
Top Alert – Entity designated / sanctioned for terror, WMD and human rights violation

Info:
AAH is an Iranian-backed Shia militia and political party operating primarily in Iraq, with ancillary operations in Syria and Lebanon. Formed in 2006 by Qais al-Khazali, AAH has approximately 10,000 members and is one of the most powerful Shia militias in Iraq. Until the U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq in December 2011, AAH had launched over 6,000 attacks on American and Iraqi forces, including highly sophisticated operations and targeted kidnappings of Westerners. The group seeks to promote Iran’s political and religious influence in Iraq, maintain Shia control over Iraq, and oust any remaining Western vestiges from the country;

Since entering politics, AAH has not fulfilled its vow to halt armed resistance, instead continuing to carry out sectarian violence, execute homophobic attacks, slaughter women alleged to be prostitutes, and threaten the “interests” of Western countries participating in strikes in Syria. The group is one of the militias in Haashid Shaabi, Iraq’s anti-ISIS volunteer forces also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF);

The organisation is alleged to receive training and weapons from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force as well as Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah. By March 2007, Iran was providing the network between $750,000 and $3 million in arms and financial support each month. Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani, a former Badr Brigades member who ran an important smuggling network known as the Sheibani Network played a key role in supplying the group. The group was also supplied by a smuggling network headed by Ahmad Sajad al-Gharawi a former Mahdi Army commander, mostly active in Maysan Governorate. The group works closely with Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani;

AAH is a religiously motivated group with allegiance to Iran. The group is anti-American, sectarian, anti-Kurdish, homophobic, and violent. AAH seeks to establish an Islamist, Shia-controlled Iraq and promote Iranian objectives. While AAH has origins within the Iraqi Sadrist movement, the group is openly loyal to Iranian leaders, most notably the Ayatollahs Khomeini and Khamenei. Similarly, AAH shows deference to the Guardianship of the Jurists (velayat-e faqih), a governing structure that serves as one of the cornerstones of Iran’s Islamic Revolution system. .Analysts characterize AAH as a Khomeinist organization that aims “to create a suitable environment for the return of Imam Mahdi through the imposition of strict Shi’a Islamic governance.” This assessment is corroborated by Guardian Middle East correspondent Martin Chulov, who writes that AAH is a “proxy arm of the Revolutionary Guards’ al-Quds Brigades, whose main brief is to export Iran’s 30-year-old Islamic Revolution.” AAH is also ideologically aligned with Iranian proxy Hezbollah, a Shia Lebanese terrorist group;

Iran’s IRGC–Quds Force trains AAH in addition to funding and arming the group. AAH’s training program reportedly resembles that of Iran’s Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah. As of March 2014, AAH was receiving an estimated $1.5 million – $2 million from Iran a month. U.S. Colonel Rick Welch said that during the 2007 U.S. surge in Iraq, Iran was giving AAH “$20 million a month or some outrageous figure like that” in order to train its fighters;

In the past, AAH militants have received training from Lebanese Hezbollah operative Ali Mussa Daqduq. The Quds Force placed Daqduq in charge of overseeing training for Iraqi Shia militants in the region, including AAH fighters;

In December 2017, al-Khazali joined Hezbollah on a tour of Lebanon’s border with Israel. During the visit, he proclaimed “[w]e declare our full readiness to stand united with the Lebanese people and the Palestinian cause in the face of the Israeli occupation,” Al-Khazali’s trip signaled the transnational nature of Iran’s nurturing of Shia militias;

Allies: Syria, Iran, Kata’ib Hezbollah, Promised Day Brigades, Liwa Abu al-Fadhal al-Abbas, Hezbollah. Liwa al-Quds, Sheibani Network, Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, Saraya al-Mukhtar (alleged), Al-Ashtar Brigades (alleged);

Opponent(s): Multi-National Force – Iraq, United States, United Kingdom, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Al-Qaida in Iraq, Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order, Free Syrian Army, Islamic Front, Al-Nusra Front, Kurdistan Workers’ Party, White Flags, Army of Conquest, Peshmerga (minor clashes);

Established:
2006

Also Known As:
Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq
AAH
League of the Righteous
Aṣayib Ahl al-Haq
Khazali Network

Country:
Iraq

Places of Operation:
Iraq
Syria
Lebanon

Person of interests:
Qais al-Khazali Leader – Founder
Akram al-Kabi (2007–2010) Leader
Naeem al-Aboudi – Spokesman
Jawad al-Talabawi (military)- Spokesman

Reason for the color:
» US congress finalizes bill on sanctioning Iranian-backed militias in Iraq;

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