Iraq VP: US-Backed Militias Plotting Attacks

20 Percent of Awakening Forces Will Be Integrated Into Security Forces

According to Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdel Mahdi, members of the US-backed Awakening Movement Sunni militias are biding their time and waiting for a chance to resume attacks against the Shi’ite-led government.

Though Mahdi credited some members of the group with helping “restore order in the country,” he said that the government “can’t distinguish between the two,” referring to helpful members of the militia and the members waiting to strike. “That’s why there have been arrests when we have discovered their links with other terrorist groups.”

Yesterday the Iraqi government complained about media reports about its arrests of members of the militias, saying it was a coordinated campaign to provoke sectarian strike and undermine the Maliki government. The militias have been increasingly dissatisfied with the government’s failure to fulfill its pledge to provide jobs for its members. Its forces have been abandoning posts, citing the lack of paychecks since the organization was transferred from US to Iraqi control.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh says that the government will integrate 20 percent of the groups members into the security forces, and the other 80 percent will be appointed to other positions. He gave no timeline for how long that would take, however.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.