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Michael Knights

Michael Knights is a Boston-based senior fellow of The Washington Institute, specializing in the military and security affairs of Iraq, Iran, and the Persian Gulf states.

14 August 2019 05:11 PM

Iran-backed Militias Are Threatening Public Safety in Iraq

On August 12, a large militia ammunition dump caught fire in southern Baghdad, sending rockets careening across the skies over the capital. The incident is one of several major explosions at such facilities around the city in recent years; it also follows other recent hazards directly tied to Iran-backed groups, from militia attacks on Western investors to suspected Israeli strikes against militia bases. With the government thus far proving unable to rein in even the smallest militias, the negative impact of unchecked foreign-backed armed groups is increasingly falling on Iraqi civilians, a consequence that the international community should devote much more attention to when engaging Baghdad.