Iraqi Militia Commander Vows Revenge Over Recent US Attacks

Says timing of future attacks is not important

Speaking in an interview with the Associated Press, Iraqi militia leader Abu Alaa al-Walae, whose Ketaib Sayyid al-Shuhada was recently targeted by the US military, promised revenge strikes to retaliate for the deaths of four killed in the US attacks on the Iraq-Syria border.

Asked about the nature and timing of the retaliation, Walae didn’t appear to rule out drone strikes, but didn’t confirm them either, and was dismissive of talks of timing, saying that the time of future attacks is simply not important.

This mirrors similar promises of retaliation by various forces in Iraq and Syria, who obviously don’t want to tip off defenders if a strike is imminent, but want to assure their own supporters that they will do something at some point.

Walae may raise some eyebrows in predicting that Iran’s recent election of President Raisi would lead to strengthened ties with the Iraqi militia group.

This is a potential problem both in that the US has played up its attacks in Iraq and Syria as being all about sending messages to Iran, and because Iran has denied having anything to do with the militias the US is fighting.

These groups are plainly Iraqi, not Iranian, and while the militia is hoping to parlay this into new Iranian backing, emphasizing it risks also encouraging the US to attack them more and spin it as action against Iran.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.