As US pressure increases on Iran-backed militias, they turn to Iran

Al-Monitor | : Iran-backed Shiite militias have been under increasing pressure recently in Iraq not only from the United States — which monitors their activities closely — but also from the public and the Iraqi government.

During an interview Aug. 9 with a small group of Iraqi and foreign media representatives, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said he has already begun implementing a decree he issued last month regarding the regulation of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU). Abdul Mahdi said although some of the PMU have concerns about the decree and have questioned it, “We are continuing the implementation of the decree as the majority of the PMU are supporting it.”

Kata’ib Hezbollah slammed the decree soon after it was issued in early July. A PMU website attributed the decree to US and Saudi pressure on Abdul Mahdi. Meanwhile, most of the PMU — including factions close to Ayatollah Ali Sistani such as al-Abbas Combat Division — have been silent about the decree, following all the prime minister’s orders as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces without resistance.

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