He added, “Regional states such as Turkey and [those in] the Gulf that deem the PMU to be a terrorist organization are putting pressure on Washington and luring it with money to impose sanctions on PMU leaders.”
The fruits of that strategy seem to have matured in Lebanon. On May 19, Washington and Riyadh announced the inclusion of Hashim Safi al-Din, the head of the executive board of the Lebanese Hezbollah, on the “joint blacklist of terrorism.”
In the same context, the United States is trying to cut off communication between the Shiite militias affiliated with Iran to confine their action. Iranian media outlets deemed the US raid on a convoy of Syrian forces May 18 “a US insistence to prevent any contact between Baghdad and Damascus.” Meanwhile, Western experts confirmed May 20 that “the air raid reveals the US military plans in the region.”
Abu Ala al-Walai, one of the leaders of the Iranian-backed armed Shiite organizations in Iraq and the secretary-general of Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada, announced May 19 that “the US Air Force targeted PMU forces near the Iraqi-Syrian border.”
It is well known that the Gulf states and US cricles accuse many PMU leaders of being linked to and supported by Iran. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a PMU committee head in Iraq, said in an April 23 video that he has ties to both Tehran and Iranian Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani.
Akram al-Kaabi, the leader of the Iraqi Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, seemed more explicit about his relations with Tehran when he visited in September and said there was a need for “the Iraqi PMU to fight in Syria.”