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Iran-backed IMIS can be another ISIS in disguise

IMIS forces
After the allegedly demise of ISIS in Iraq, it seems that Iranian Militias in Iraq and Syria (IMIS), the fledging group that has stepped in to oust ISIS from Iraq, will become an alternative or a new face to the terrorist group. 

When the war against ISIS began in 2014, Iraq’s security apparatus collapsed, leading many volunteer fighters to join paramilitaries rather than the weakened military or police forces. 


These sub-state forces were grouped under an umbrella organization called IMIS. Many of these militias have been trained in Iran.



Although the size of the militia is heavily contested, the groups include over 60,000 fighters. Others estimate that the number ranges from 60,000 to 140,000. Some sources say IMIS includes around 142,000 fighters in fifty or so groups.

The Shiite IMIS has been formed before former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki's term ends. Recently, Maliki has given the credit of Mosul victory for these militias.


According to observers, giving credits to the Iran-backed militias reflects an appalling speculation that they could be given more powers. 
The militias influence will be enhanced in the future and it may shape the politics in Iraq, they added.

Militias pose threats like ISIS

Although IMIS was used to expel ISIS from Iraq, it can be another ISIS but in disguise. These militias have committed and still commit crimes based on sectarian motives, particularly against Sunnis.

Earlier, Sufian Samarrai, Chairman of the Baghdad Post, said that liberating Mosul from the grip of ISIS is nothing but a disaster and a sectarian-motivated genocide.

Iraqi media figure also added that this liberation is in fact a demographic change carried out by Shiite militias (IMIS), which contributed to rendering Iranian plot to open road from Iran to Syria until the Mediterranean Sea through Iraq.

Genocide against Sunnis

On Thursday, a woman from Amarah city, located south of Baghdad, in southern Iraq said that IMIS terrorists raped her.

It has been recently reported that joint forces and IMIS have executed a number of detainees in Mosul city in Nineveh Governorate.



Many analysts assert that IMIS aims to carry out sectarian genocide against Sunni Arabs in Iraq. 


These crimes are committed only to further Iran's Shiite crescent scheme to form an influence from Tehran to Baghdad, Damascus to Beirut to reach the Mediterranean Sea, they added. 




Political aspirations

The Shiite militias are in the process of establishing a political representation in the lead-up to Iraq’s planned 2018 provincial and parliamentary elections. 

Under a law passed in November but not implemented, IMIS was to become an official security body affiliated with the Iraqi armed forces. If this law was enacted, IMIS members can run for office and participate in politics.


In Iraq, political parties and entities wishing to run for election must abolish their armed wings. The new law would allow the armed factions under IMIS umbrella to be incorporated into one officially recognized body.


As a result, the affiliated parties would become purely political entities without actually dissolving the armed groups. 
This can be a nightmare that adds to Iraq's woes, observers said. They added that being part of the political scene means far-reaching powers that can push the country into the abyss of sectarianism and ethnic cleansing. 

Iran's mercenaries in Iraq

Like ISIS, IMIS seeks to control large swathes of the Middle East to achieve the Iranian scheme of  creating a Shiite Crescent in the region. Tehran uses the Shiite militias to destabilize countries in the region such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.    

These militias maintain strong links with Tehran and pledge spiritual allegiance to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. As such, they have been groomed and trained by Iran as reliable political and military allies.



Analysts say that the Shiite militias serve to advance Iranian interests in Syria as well as to protect Iran’s border areas. They noted they aim at building a corridor for Iran to extend its influence into the Levant. The militias also  serve as a kind of border guard, a sort of Iranian insurance policy against threats on its immediate border, they added.

Moreover, IMIS resources, including heavy armor, drones, and military advisers, all come from Tehran. However, their cash and political legitimacy come from Baghdad.




IMIS elimination is a must 

While IMIS' influence is rising, the threats IMIS poses have to be addressed by the Iraqi government as soon as possible. Prime minister Haider al-Abadi has to strip the powers of these militias and put the state back in control.   

Previously, Abadi did not insert himself into the operational activities of the militias to dislodge ISIS from Iraq.


According to observers, the prime minister should not integrate the Shiite militias  into existing military units. 


Their integration can exacerbate Iraq's tragedies and create a new Jinni that, unlike ISIS, is hard to expel, the observers added.

Last Modified: Friday، 14 July 2017 06:24 PM
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