Iraqi Hezbollah Leader Assassinated in Diyala

Killed at ISIS-Run Checkpoint North of Baghdad

Shi’ite militia the Mukhtar Army has reported that its leader, Wathiq al-Battat, who is also the Secretary-General of Hezbollah in Iraq, was killed in an attack in Diyala Province.

Battat was reportedly slain at an ISIS-run checkpoint in the province, though puzzlingly the Mukhtar Army’s statement referred to it as “assassinated by accident” in the province.

The Mukhtar Army was established in February as a franchisee of Hezbollah, and has become increasingly involved in the ISIS war, alongside other Shi’ite militias resisting ISIS expansion.

Battat had been on the ISIS war bandwagon even before Grand Ayatollah Sistani’s call to arms, and had been critical of the Maliki government for not taking ISIS seriously. It is unclear who his successor will be in the militia, or in Hezbollah itself.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.