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February 15, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9186

Pro-Iranian Shi'ite Militias In Iraq: We Will Attack The Turkish Forces If They Continue To Operate In Northern Iraq

February 15, 2021
Iran, Iraq, Turkey | Special Dispatch No. 9186

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here. 

In recent days, following the military activity of Turkish forces in the Nineveh Governorate in northern Iraq against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), pro-Iranian Shi'ite militias threatened to harm Turkish economic and security interests in Iraq if Turkey continues its operations in the area. These militias harshly criticized the conduct of the Iraqi government headed by Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and claimed that it does nothing to prevent Turkey from continuing its military activities and even collaborates with it.

On February 13, 2021, Hadi Al-Amiri, chairman of the Fatah Alliance in the Iraqi Parliament and head of the Badr Organization supported by Iran, threatened that "there is conclusive intelligence information that the Turkish Armed Forces intends to attack in the Sinjar Mountains." Al-Amiri called on the Iraqi government to take the necessary steps to prevent any attack on Iraqi territory, the armed forces, and Al-Hashd Al-Sha'abi (Popular Mobilization Units, PMU).[1]

A short time later the Al-Nujaba movement published a statement in which it harshly criticizes the behavior of the Iraqi government which, it claims, permits the violation of Iraqi sovereignty, and threatens that if the government won't act, then "the Iraqi people and the resistance will take their well-known stand which can, with Allah's help, deter the occupiers and reciprocate in kind."[2]

Despite Turkey's statement on February 14, 2021, that it was ending its military campaign in the region, the militias continue to threaten an attack against the Turkish forces.

Ashab Al-Kahf (People of the Cave), a pro-Iranian, Shi'ite group which has claimed responsibility for several attacks against American forces over the past year,[3] urges Turkey "to understand that its economic and security interests in Iraq will be as dust if its forces continue to operate on the cherished lands of Nineveh. We wore down the American army which became an army which reconstructs the wreckage of its tanks and armored vehicles. Your situation will be even worse."[4]

Asaib Ahl Al-Haqq also published a statement echoing the words of Al-Amiri about Turkey's intention to invade the Sinjar Mountains. The movement urges the Iraqi government to fulfill its obligation and implement the decision of the Iraqi Parliament to expel all the foreign forces from Iraq, and the Turkish government to respect Iraqi sovereignty and withdraw all its military "occupation" forces from Iraqi land and the border areas and not to drag the two countries into ill-considered adventures. The movement stresses that the Iraqi people are prepared to stand by the military forces and the PMU and to prevent any aggression against Iraq and its sovereignty.[5]

 

[1] Almaalomah.com, February 13, 2021.

[2] Almaalomah.com, February 13, 2021.

[4] Telegram.me/Alkhuf, February 14, 2021.

[5] Telegram.me/alhashed5, February 14, 2021.

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