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Who Handles Iraq’s Military?

Western Iran is in its third week of grievous flooding. Coming to the aide, across the Iraqi border, are terrorists turned Iraqi troops, turned Rec Crescent aide workers. They answer not to the elected government in Baghdad, however to Iran’s ayatollah.

A convoy of 50 vehicles carrying Iraqi Nujaba and then Shaabi pmu militia groups entered Iran, marking the first time Iraqi forces have entered Iran since the Iraqi invasion in 1980 ordered by Saddam Hussein. Afghan and Lebanese Shiite militias also joined the relief efforts.

Starting three weeks ago, Iran’s “Army Ground Force, the irgc Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and Basij have deployed forces, heavy military machinery, aircraft and boats to the disaster zones,” revealed irgc-controlled Tasnim News Agency. On April 12, Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi, verified that hundreds of Popular Mobilization Units pmu militiamen joined Iranian forces in providing aide. The pmu is an Iraqi, state-sponsored, majority-Shiite, umbrella organization composed of about 40 militia groups. Its original purpose was to fight the emergence of the Islamic State. Currently, the organization has grown to become equivalent in power to the actual Iraqi military.

It appears most of these Iraqi militias responded at the request of Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, commander of the irgc Quds Force. Suleimani, who reports directly to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been Iran’s instrument in bringing Iraq under Iran’s control. He generally oversees all irgc operations outside the country, but on April 5, the irgc announced that he will be overseeing the relief efforts for the next month.

But, these Shiite fighters from Iraq acted without permission from the Iraqi government. In fact, the government didn’t even know these forces were leaving the country. That is because Iran controls much of the pmu, although it is now part of the Iraqi military.

Some Iraqi leaders were upset that the Iraqi soldiers were helping in Iran, while Iraq itself suffers from the same flooding. “Since there are actually those who have offered relief to affected areas in Iran, it is our duty to intensify our efforts to provide relief to our people in Iraq,” Sadrist Movement leader Muqtada al-Sadr claimed on Twitter, adding that “Iraqis come first.”

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