US Sanctions on PMUs puts Iraq in Tough Spot

Asaib Ahl al-Haq, established and headed by Qais al-Khazali, considers the US bill “insignificant” because the movement is committed to national laws.

Youssef Ibrahim, an independent expert who follows up on Iraqi affairs, rules out any military clash in the near future in Iraq between US-blacklisted factions and US forces in the areas of these factions’ deployment.

The US insistence on classifying the PMU factions as terrorist entities will complicate the domestic Iraqi situation in the post-IS phase and risk creating a new US conflict with the armed factions that have tight relations with Iran, the United States’ archenemy.

Abadi has taken several measures to bring the PMU under government control, including the PMU law passed by the parliament in 2016 that disassociates all PMU factions from their leaders and affiliated political parties and brings them under the leadership of the prime minister.

The Iraqi government does not want to lose Washington as a strategic ally, which led the international coalition in the war against IS.

(Picture credit: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

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