Iraq PM Cracks Down on Militias, Pushes Iran to Restrain Them

Recent parade shows push-back among militias

The US has long pressured Iraqi officials to move against Shi’ite militias, and some analysts are suggesting that recent unrest suggests PM Mustafa Kadhimi is actually starting to do so in earnest.

In recent weeks, Baghdad saw a parade by the Rabaa Allah faction, which officials have long accused of being Kataeb Hezbollah’s umbrella group. The marchers were calling to “cut off Kadhimi’s ears.”

Kadhimi, for his part, has publicly warned Iran to rein in the groups in question, saying that Iraq will “announce clearly who backs these groups” if they keep causing problems. That may be easier said than done.

Iran, after all, has issued its own statements several times calling on those selfsame militias to stop causing problems, mostly with an eye toward rapprochement with the US. That quieted down some of the militias but not others, and has led Iran to accuse them of working for someone else. Whether that’s true or not, they probably won’t be able to tighten the reins on them now.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of