British "Middle East" website revealed that the leaders of the Iraqi militias loyal to Iran agreed to put their differences aside, and Hadi al-Amiri supported a new head of the PMF.
He mentioned that the agreement was brokered by the Secretary-General of the Lebanese Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, to whom Iran was entrusted with the task of easing tensions between Shiite groups and establishing a "united front" to resist US forces in Iraq.
The agreement was reached - according to the report of the Iraqi journalist Suad Al-Salhi, published on the site - at a meeting held last Thursday in Beirut after Iran asked Nasrallah to arrange the conditions of the Iraqi factions after the killing of the Iranian Quds Force commander, General Qassem Soleimani, and the actual leader of the popular crowd, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, in a US plane strike. March on the third of this month near Baghdad International Airport.
After the meeting, most of the leaders of these factions flew to Tehran last Sunday before heading to the city of Qom the next day, where they met the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr.
|Nasrallah's speech on a television screen in Beirut early this month to pay tribute to Soleimani and the engineer (Reuters)|
Although the stated aim of these meetings was to reunite groups opposing the American presence in Iraq, sources - Middle East Eye did not reveal their identities - stated that the goal also includes addressing the leadership vacuum in the aftermath of Soleimani's killing, and to quell the internal differences that have been raging for some time between These militias are backed by Iran.
The website indicated that the leaders and senior officials of the most prominent armed factions loyal to Iran - who represent "Asaib Ahl al-Haq", the "Hezbollah" Brigades, the "Soldiers of the Imam", the "Master of the Martyrs" and the "Imam Ali" Brigades had arrived in Beirut Thursday at the invitation of Nasrallah. To put their differences aside "and remain calm after the American raids on their sites.
At the same time, many Iraqi politicians and leaders of other armed factions - including Hadi al-Amiri, the leader of the "Badr Organization" who is nominated to succeed the engineer - went to Tehran to offer condolences to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, on Soleimani's death.
While most of those leaders and politicians returned to Baghdad, Al-Amri and the leader of the "Al-Nujaba Movement", Akram al-Kaabi, remained in Iran, joined by most of the leaders who had met Nasrallah in Beirut on Sunday.
Less than 24 hours later, that group traveled to Qom, where they met Moqtada al-Sadr and two of his top military aides, Abu Doaa al-Issawi and Abu Yasser al-Kaabi.
In her report, Al-Salhi attributed to one of those attending the meeting, saying in a press statement that the aim of the Al-Sadr meeting is to prepare for the establishment of a united resistance front to expel all American and foreign forces from Iraq, and to coordinate efforts to unify positions.
However, many Shiite military and political leaders - who are aware of what was discussed in those meetings - assured "Middle East Eye" that most of them were devoted to resolving tensions and internal conflicts between the various armed Shiite factions under the PMF.
|The popular crowd includes several armed factions (Reuters)|
These factions are divided into three main groups. The first is linked to the largest Shiite authority, Najaf Ali al-Sistani, the second is affiliated with al-Sadr, and the third - which represents most of the factions and the best-armed ones - is linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
Al-Salihi pointed out that the relationship between Sistani and Khamenei has deteriorated remarkably because of the latter's insistence on using Iraq as a proxy battlefield against the United States, and the role of Iranian-backed groups in killing and terrorizing anti-government demonstrators.
The journalist believes that Tehran puts the solution to the old dispute with Sadr - who does not hide his hostility to the factions linked to Iran - in his first priority after the killing of the engineer, "for fear of Sadr's resistance to Iran's rule over the PMF."