July 2, 2019

MEANWHILE, BACK IN IRAQ:

Reuters reports:

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi issued a decree on Monday heavily curbing the powers of mostly Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias and forcing them to integrate more closely into the formal armed forces.

The militias, which helped Iraqi and U.S.-led international coalition forces to drive out occupying Islamic State militants under an umbrella grouping known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), have broad influence in Iraqi politics.

An electoral alliance made up of militia leaders and fighters came second in a 2018 parliamentary election.

It appears the Iraqi national government finally feels strong enough to confront Iran’s proxies.

StrategyPage.com’s latest Iraq update (published June 26) has useful background on the Iraqi government and Iranian-backed militias.

Sample:

Iran and ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) are, in effect, working together to keep Iraq chaotic and mired in violence and corruption. While Iran and ISIL seem like separate problems, they are, in practice, intertwined.

Read the update’s first section, from the June 26 dateline to the June 25 entry.

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