US Demands Iraq Immediately Act Against Militias

Iraq creates special force to protect Baghdad's Green Zone

The US State Department has declared itself “outraged” over a Monday rocket strike by an unnamed Iraqi militia near the Baghdad Airport. The strike killed seven civilians. The US is now demanding Iraq take “immediate” action against the militias.

US officials say they consider the “Iran-backed militias” a danger, and expect Iraq to fight them, even though in practice these militias are part of Iraq’s own security forces. Iraq has struggled to exert control over the militias for years.

Iraq has promised a move to create a new special forces unit in the Green Zone meant to allow existing security forces to exit the area, while the new forces focus on protecting embassies in the area. Officials say a number of embassies are asking for Iraqi help protecting them.

With concern that the militia fighting with the US could lead to a war, Iraq is trying its best to slow the escalation to keep it from getting out of hand. This has meant political balance to militias, and diplomatic balance with the US.

In the long run, the US wants military engagement against the militias, and seems to be holding out for only that. Iraq must continue to resist this call, however, because the military is ill-equipped to contest the militias.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.