US Sanctions Iraqi Shi’ite Militia Aligned With Iraqi Govt

US officials accuse group of being an 'Iranian proxy'

The US Treasury Department announced sanctions on Tuesday against Iraq’s Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, a Shi’ite militia that Republican Senators have accused of being an “Iranian proxy.”

The group of about 10,000 fighters is aligned with the Iraqi government and is part of the government’s “Popular Mobilization Force” umbrella for militias that are under direct government command in fighting. They fought against ISIS in Iraq and later in Syria.

Like most Shi’ite militias, the group does have some ideological alignment with the Iranian government, The group was founded by Ali Ahl al-Haq co-founder Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi, thogh Kaabi insists the two groups are distinct. Kaabi was already under US sanctions.

It is unclear what the practical effects of these sanctions will be, beyond further complicating US military ties to Iraq by making more and more of the de facto Iraqi military forces sanctioned entities under US law.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of