The "crowd" evasion continues

Dimensions of the announcement by some Iraqi factions of the dissolution of their military wings

  • Muqtada al-Sadr increases pressure on the components of the "Popular Mobilization."

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  • "Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades" announces the dissolution of itself to camouflage.

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  • The attempt to assassinate Al-Kazemi sparked the need to join the Popular Mobilization factions into the Iraqi army.

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On November 19, the security official on behalf of the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades, Abu Ali al-Askari, announced the dissolution of the formation of the Popular Defense Brigades, the suspension of all activities and the closure of its headquarters. This announcement came after the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, announced the dissolution of the formation of the Promised Day Brigade. While the “Coordination Committee of the Iraqi Islamic Resistance,” which includes a number of Shiite armed groups loyal to Iran, refused to respond to the call to hand over the militia’s weapons.

The timing of the calls for solution

The Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades’ announcement of the dissolution of the militia associated with it coincided with a number of internal developments, which can be clarified in the following:

1- The failed attempt to liquidate Al-Kazemi:

Al-Sadr’s announcement of the dissolution of some of his armed militias in Iraq aims to shed light on the loose weapons of the Shiite militias, which they employed, based on Iran’s directives, in an attempt to liquidate the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, on November 7, 2021, meaning that Al-Sadr’s call was aimed at Mainly to put pressure on these militias to force them to give up their weapons, especially since the battalions are the most prominent forces accused of trying to liquidate Al-Kazemi.

2- Al-Sadr’s demand to dissolve the militias:

The announcement of the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades came after the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, called last November 18 to the importance of dissolving the armed factions at once, and handing over their weapons, as a first stage, to the Popular Mobilization, through the commander of the armed forces, who is the prime minister.

Al-Sadr also emphasized in his speech that the strength of the Shiite sect does not come from imposing force and sectarian differences, as well as his call for the liquidation of the popular crowd of undisciplined elements, and not to involve the name of the crowd in politics.

3- Anticipating the final announcement of the election results:

This development came before the Federal Court ratified the election results in a final and irrevocable manner, which will entail the possibility of some militias employing the Popular Mobilization Forces for violence, in the event that their political wings are confirmed to lose in the elections.

Thus, Al-Sadr's call aimed to hold these militias responsible for any violence that might occur.

Meaning and objectives of the advertisement:

It is noted that al-Sadr's announcement of dissolving part of his militia at this time aims to achieve a number of goals, as follows:

1- Dissolving militias in exchange for participation in the government:

Al-Sadr realizes that the goal of the Shiite political factions in rejecting the election results and brandishing violence is to ensure their participation in the next government.

Al-Sadr seeks to capitalize on this by emphasizing the possibility of the participation of political parties representing these factions, but in the event that they give up their weapons.

It is noted that Al-Sadr's call is nothing more than a mere maneuver, especially with sources linked to the Sadrist movement revealing that he continues his efforts to form a majority government, and collected about 180 votes, which means that even in accepting the participation of the pro-Iranian factions, its role in this government will be limited. .

2- Stop any escalation against Washington or neighboring countries:

Through these calls, Muqtada al-Sadr is trying to put pressure on the Shiite armed factions loyal to Iran, to prevent them from entering into war and confrontations with the American army, arguing that the American withdrawal from Iraq is incomplete, and that after withdrawing the American combat forces on December 31, 2021, it still retains advisors Military personnel, in an attempt to create additional crises through which to cover up calls for its disarmament.

Abu Ala’ al-Wala’i, the leader of the Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada faction, had called on his supporters to volunteer in the ranks of his armed group in preparation for the fight against the American forces, which came in the context of his response to Muqtada al-Sadr’s aforementioned call, which is like putting pressure on the United States on the one hand, and the Iraqi government. On the other hand, to adhere to the timetable for the US withdrawal.

Al-Sadr is also afraid of the tendency of the pro-Iranian PMF militias to escalate against Iraq's neighboring countries, which Al-Sadr himself referred to, as he stressed the need not to interfere in the affairs of neighboring countries and to plunge the Iraqi people into useless foreign wars.

3- Opening the door to dissolving the popular crowd:

In his speech, al-Sadr referred to the necessity of restructuring the Popular Mobilization, and even the possibility of dissolving it, with the aim of ending the current duplicity of affiliation within the crowd by transforming it into a professional Iraqi military institution, and keeping it away from the Iranian regional project that directly harms Iraqi interests.

Despite the difficulty of implementing this step, at least it represents a tool of pressure on the militias linked to Iran, to deter them from trying to use their weapons more in the crisis of the October 2021 election results, in addition to putting pressure on Iran to control the pace of the parties loyal to it to stop the escalation, especially since it is in In the event that these militias tend to escalate, the alternative option will be to reach a state of civil war, an option that is not guaranteed to have consequences for all concerned parties.

Iran's Militias Reactions

The militias linked to Iran, either directly or indirectly, interacted with Al-Sadr’s call, which can be explained as follows:

1- Bypassing Al-Sadr’s call:

The announcement of the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades to disband the militias associated with it represents a circumvention of al-Sadr's call, who did not disband his militias, but attached them to their equipment and equipment to lead the Popular Mobilization Forces.

It is noted that the response of the brigades, unlike the rest of the militias linked to Iran, reveals the credibility of the accusations leveled against them of involvement in the attempt to assassinate Al-Kazemi.

Consequently, the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades tried to show their apparent response to improve its internal image, and reduce criticism directed at it during the recent period, especially after the failed assassination attempt on Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi.

2- The threat of the Revolutionary Guards model:

The Iraqi Hezbollah’s announcement to disband and integrate its militias into the Popular Mobilization reflects an implicit threat to al-Sadr, as merging the various militias into one entity is an attempt to reproduce the experience of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, by trying to integrate all the factions affiliated with the Popular Mobilization umbrella into a single entity, especially after Statements by the head of the Popular Mobilization Forces, Faleh al-Fayyad, on the need to follow the example of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

3- Follow the policy of shuffling papers:

"Hezbollah Brigades" called for merging the Kurdish Peshmerga with the federal forces and handing over their weapons in response to the calls of the Sadrist movement's leader Muqtada al-Sadr to disarm the militias, which represents an attempt by it to shuffle the cards, and an attempt to suggest that al-Sadr adopts a double policy on the basis that he demands the dissolution of the Shiite militias rather than the Kurdish ones. Although the brigades clearly ignore that the Kurdish Peshmerga forces are federal forces affiliated with the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

4- The refusal of other Shiite militias to lay down their arms:

The "Coordination Committee of the Iraqi Islamic Resistance", which includes a number of Shiite armed groups loyal to Iran, refused to respond to the call to hand over the militia's weapons, which was expected, especially since there were previous government decisions in this regard that did not adhere to their implementation. 

• Al-Sadr referred to the necessity of restructuring the Popular Mobilization, and even the possibility of dissolving it, with the aim of ending the current duplicity of affiliation within the crowd by turning it into a professional Iraqi military institution, and keeping it away from the Iranian regional project that directly harms Iraqi interests.


• The Iraqi Hezbollah’s announcement of dissolving its militias and integrating them into the Popular Mobilization Forces reflects an implicit threat to al-Sadr, as merging the various militias into one entity is an attempt to reproduce the experience of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, by attempting to merge all the factions affiliated with the Popular Mobilization umbrella into a single entity.

Militia Weapon

Al-Sadr’s call for the dissolution of some of the militias associated with him represents an attempt on his part to shed light on the weapons of the Shiite militias loyal to Iran in Iraq, through which it seeks to create chaos and threaten civil war, as was clarified in the demonstrations it held at the Green Zone, through which it sought to create a confrontation With the Iraqi security forces, as well as their involvement in the attempted assassination of Mustafa al-Kadhimi, the Iraqi prime minister.

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