US Sanctions on PMUs puts Iraq in Tough Spot

The fight that Washington is waging against some PMU factions will open a new political battlefront on Iraqi territories with dangerous indicators such as the reaction of these factions and the stance that Abadi’s government might take.

The PMU-affiliated Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba accused Abadi’s government of taking orders from the US Congress, which described the movement as “a group affiliated with the Iraqi security formations on the terrorist lists,” according to its spokesman Nasr al-Shumari.

Hashem al-Musawi, another spokesman for Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, told Al-Monitor, “The United States is trying as hard as possible to foil the Islamist resistance project. But we will not stand idly by facing these classifications, and we will take the right stance at the right time.”

Although Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba released a statement priding itself on being designated as a terrorist organization, a threatening tone prevailed indicating potential impediment to Washington’s interests in Baghdad.

The United States considers the Iranian-affiliated Shiite factions a threat to its interests in Iraq, and even in Syria. For that reason, it wants to control the movement of these groups as part of the vision of the Iraqi government. Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba and Asaib Ahl al-Haq are also present on Syrian territories.

It seems the United States made a smart decision by classifying the two factions fighting in Syria as terrorist entities while ignoring other factions that are no less dangerous. Washington would then justify its decision to the Iraqi government by saying that these factions are fighting illegally in Syria.

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