Popular Mobilization Forces
The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), also known as the People's Mobilization Committee (PMC) and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) (Arabic: الحشد الشعبي al-Ḥashd ash-Shaʿbī), is an Iraqi state-sponsored umbrella organization composed of some 40 militias that are mostly Shia Muslim groups, but also include Sunni Muslim, Christian, and Yazidi groups. The popular mobilization units as a group was formed in 2014 and have fought in nearly every major battle against ISIL. It has been called the new Iraqi Republican Guard after it was fully reorganized in early 2018 by its then-Commander in Chief Haider al-Abadi. Former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi issued "regulations to adapt the situation of the Popular Mobilization fighters," giving them ranks and salaries equivalent to other branches of the Iraqi military. On May 16 the Iraqi prime minister wore the Popular Mobilization Forces uniform in support of them.
Logos and flagsEdit
With regard to the official native name, the Arabic word الشعبي (ash-Shaʿbī) translates as "people's" or "popular", as referred to the people; the Arabic word الحشد (al-Ḥashd) translates as "mobilization", as in the group of people mobilized rather than the process of mobilization. In other contexts, al-hashd may translate as other terms such as "crowd", "horde", "throng", "gathering", or "mob".
Background and formationEdit
Originally, there were seven militias in the PMF, which had been operating with Nouri al-Maliki's support since early 2014. These were:
- Badr Organization
- Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq
- Kata'ib Hezbollah
- Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada
- Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba
- Kata'ib al-Imam Ali
- Kata'ib Jund al-Imam.
According to Faleh A. Jabar and Renad Mansour for the Carnegie Middle East Center, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki used these forces to combat the emergence of ISIL and maintain his influence in predominantly Sunni areas.
The People's Mobilization Forces (PMF) were formed by the Iraqi government on 15 June 2014 after top Iraqi Shia cleric Ali al-Sistani's non-sectarian fatwa on "Sufficiency Jihad" on 13 June. The fatwa called for defending Iraqi cities, particularly Baghdad, and to participate in the counter-offensive against ISIL, following the Fall of Mosul on 10 June 2014. The forces brought together a number of Shi'ite militias, most of which receive direct support from Iran, along with a small number of Sunni tribesmen by uniting existing militias under the "People's Mobilization Committee" of the Iraqi Ministry of Interior in June 2014. The forces would fall under the umbrella of the state's security services and within the legal frameworks and practices of the Ministry of Interior. On 19 December 2016, Iraqi President Fuad Masum approved a law passed by parliament in November that incorporated PMU in the country's armed forces. With this incorporation, the PMU are now subject to the supreme commander of the national armed forces and will no longer be affiliated to any political or social group. The PMU became regarded as an official force with similar rights as those of the regular army. In the course of events, some of these groups embarked on a different path, operating independently.
On 21 March 2017, the PMU announced the launch of a special forces course, in order to create a Special Forces Division. The training program covered a variety of missions with direction from the Iraqi Special Operations Forces. On December 11, 2017, the PMU began to be entirely consolidated under the Iraqi Armed Forces, following a call by Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani to integrate. However, as late as May 2018, this integration had yet to take place, and PMF members remained without the same wages and privileges as soldiers in the regular Iraqi Armed Forces.
According to some sources, the Popular Mobilization Forces have made a fundamental difference on the battlefield, as they have undermined the superiority of ISIL at the level of guerrilla warfare, as well as at the level of the psychological operations.
|Unit||Commander||Parent militias, parties, and tribes|
|1st Brigade||Badr Organization and Liwa al-Imam Muhammad al-Jawad|
|2nd Brigade||Imam Ali Combat Division|
|3rd Brigade||Tashkil Asad Amerli||Badr Organization|
|4th Brigade||Badr Organization|
|5th Brigade (Tashkil al-Karar unit)||Abu Dergham al-Maturi (formerly)||Badr Organization|
|6th Brigade||Ahmad al-Asadi||Kata'ib Jund al-Imam (Islamic Movement in Iraq)|
|7th Brigade||Dagher al-Mousawi||Liwa al-Muntadhar|
|8th Brigade||Abu Ahmed Khadhim al-Jabiri||Saraya Ashura (ar)|
|9th Brigade||Liwa Karbala' and Badr Organization|
|10th Brigade||Badr Organization|
|11th Brigade||Ali al-Hamdani||Liwa Ali al-Akbar|
|12th Brigade||Akram al-Ka'abi||Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba|
|13th Brigade||Qasim Muslih||Liwa al-Tafuf|
|14th Brigade||Abu Ala al-Walai||Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada|
|15th Brigade||Quwat al-Shaheed al-Sadr(ar) (Islamic Dawa Party) and Kata'ib al-Fatah al-Mubin|
|16th Brigade||Turkmen Brigades and Badr Organization|
|17th Brigade||Hassan al-Sari||Saraya al-Jihad|
|18th Brigade||Ali al-Yasiri||Saraya al-Khorasani (ar)|
|19th Brigade||Abd al-Zahra al-Swei'adi||Ansar Allah al-Awfiya' and Tashkil al-Hussein al-Tha'ir|
|20th Brigade||Hashim Ahmad al-Tamimi||Liwa al-Taff|
|21st Brigade||Badr Organization|
|22nd Brigade||Abu Kawthar al-Muhammadawi||Badr Organization|
|23rd Brigade||Badr Organization|
|24th Brigade||Badr Organization|
|25th Brigade||Quwat al-Shaheed al-Sadr al-Awal (ar) (Islamic Dawa Party)|
|26th Brigade||al-Abbas Combat Division|
|27th Brigade||Badr Organization and Quwat al-Shaheed al-Qa'id Abu Muntadhar al-Muhammadawi|
|28th Brigade||Jalal al-Din Ali al-Saghir||Saraya Ansar al-'Aqeeda (ar)|
|29th Brigade||Ahmad al-Fariji||Kata'ib Ansar al-Hujja|
|30th Brigade||Shabak Militia and Badr Organization|
|31st Brigade||Adnan al-Shahmani||Kata'ib al-Tayyar al-Risali (ar) (Risaliyun/The Upholders of the Message)|
|33rd Brigade||Sami al-Masoudi||Quwat Wa'ad Allah (Islamic Virtue Party)|
|35th Brigade||Quwat al-Shaheed al-Sadr(ar) (Islamic Dawa Party – Iraq Organisation)|
|36th Brigade||Lalish Regiment, Liwa al-Hussein, and Badr Organization|
|39th Brigade||Harakat al-Abdal|
|40th Brigade||Shabal al-Zaidi||Kata'ib al-Imam Ali (Islamic Movement of Iraq)|
|41st Brigade||Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq|
|42nd Brigade||Quwat/Liwa [al-Shaheed] al-Qa'id Abu Mousa al-Amiri (Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq)|
|43rd Brigade||Saba' al-Dujail (Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq)|
|44th Brigade||Hamid al-Yasiri||Liwa Ansar al-Marja'iyya (ar)|
|45th Brigade||Saraya al-Dafa al-Shaabi||Kata'ib Hezbollah|
|46th Brigade||Saraya al-Difa' al-Sha'abi (Kata'ib Hezbollah)|
|47th Brigade||Saraya al-Difa' al-Sha'abi (Kata'ib Hezbollah)|
|50th Brigade||Rayan al-Kaldani||Babylon Brigade (Babylon Movement)|
|51st Brigade||Salah al-Din Brigade (ar)|
|52nd Brigade||Mahdi Taqi al-Amerli||Turkmen Brigades and Badr Organization|
|53rd Brigade||Mukhtar al-Musawi||Liwa al-Hussein and Badr Organization|
|55th Brigade||Tashkil Malik al-Ashtar.||Badr Organization|
|56th Brigade||Hussein Ali Najm al-Juburi||Liwa Hashd Shuhada' Kirkuk (Union of National Forces Party)|
|66th Brigade||Saraya Ansar al-Aqeeda (ar)|
|88th Brigade||Sheikh Wanas al-Jabara|
|90th Brigade||Ahmad al-Juburi||Fursan al-Jubur|
|91st Brigade||Abd al-Raheem al-Shammary
Abd al-Khaliq al-Mutlak al-Jarba
|Nawader Shammar (Shammar tribal force)|
|92nd Brigade||Abd al-Rahman al-Luwaizi||Turkmen Brigades|
|99th Brigade||Sa'ad Sawar||Jaysh al-Mu'ammal|
|110th Brigade||Badr Organization|
|201st Brigade||Ninawa Guards|
|313th Brigade||Peace Companies|
|314th Brigade||Peace Companies|
|39th Regiment||Qayyarah branch of the Jubur tribe|
|Wathiq al-Firdousi||Quwat al-Bairaq - Kata'ib al-Shahid al-Awwal|
Composition and organizationEdit
While there are no official data about the strength of the Popular Mobilization Forces, there are some estimates, differing significantly; around Tikrit are believed to be about 20,000 engaged militiamen, while the grand total ranges are from 2–5 million to 300,000–450,000 Iraqi armed forces, including about 40,000 Sunni fighters, a figure evolving from early 2015 one, which counted 1,000 to 3,000 Sunni fighters. By early March 2015 the Popular Mobilization Forces appeared to be strengthening its foothold in the Yazidis town of Shingal by recruiting and paying local people.
The Popular Mobilization Forces consist of both new volunteers and pre-existing militias, which have been grouped within the umbrella organization formally under the control of the Ministry of Interior Popular Mobilization Units directorate. Among these militias there are the Peace Companies (formerly known as the Mahdi Army), Kata'ib Hezbollah, Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, Kata'ib al-Imam Ali, Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq and the Badr Organization.
The militias are trained and supported by military advisers from Turkey (for Sunni and Turkmeni troops), Iran, and Hezbollah, including prominent Quds Force figures, formerly such as Qasem Soleimani. The PMF also appeared to have deployed at least a regiment under the command of Colonel Jumaa al-Jumaily in Al Anbar Governorate. They are also said to have their own military intelligence, administrative systems, a sort of "media war team" that provides morale boosting, battlefield updates and propaganda videos, and a court of law.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered on April 7, 2015, that the Popular Mobilization Forces be placed under the direct command of the prime minister's office, thus giving a further official status to the militia.
The chairman of the Popular Mobilization Committee in the Iraqi government is Falih al-Fayyadh, who is also the National Security Adviser; the Popular Mobilization Committee is under the Office of Prime Minister. The PMF are said to be led on the battlefields by Jamal Jaafar Mohammed, also known as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the head of Kata'ib Hezbollah, but the chain of command runs through pre-existing leaders. According to Iraqi sources, as well as to the London-based pro-Saudi Asharq Al-Awsat, the different militias rely on their own chain of command, and rarely work together or follow regular Iraqi Army's orders.
Alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, other people in charge of the PMF include Qais al-Khazali, commander of Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq, and Hadi Al-Amiri, the chief of the Badr Organization. According to The New York Times, such organizational autonomy may present a challenge to the consolidation of Haider al-Abadi's authority. Volunteers include Shiite Arabs, Iraqi Christians, Sunni Arabs, and Shiite Turkmen.
Sunni Arab componentEdit
In early stages of the PMF, the Shiite component was almost exclusive and the Sunni one was negligible, since it counted only 1,000 to 3,000 men. In January 2016, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi approved the appointment of 40,000 Sunni fighters to the Popular Mobilization Forces. According to Al-Monitor, his move was decided in order to give a multiconfessional image to the Forces; however, Sunni fighters began to volunteer even before the al-Abadi's decision. Adding Sunni fighters to the Popular Mobilization Units could set the stage for the force to become the core of the envisioned National Guard. According to The Economist, as of late April 2016 the Hashd had approximately 16,000 Sunnis.
It has been observed that the Sunni Arab tribes that took part in al-Hashd al-Shaabi 2015 recruitment are those which also had good relations with Nouri al-Maliki during his tenure as Prime Minister.
According to Yazan al-Jabouri, a secular Sunni commander of anti-ISIS Liwa Salahaddin, as of November 2016, there were 30,000 Iraqi Sunnis fighting within the ranks of PMUs.
Shiite Arab componentEdit
According to a Sunni newspaper, there are three main Shiite components within the Popular Mobilization Forces: the first are the groups that were formed following Sistani's fatwa, without political roots or ambitions; the second are groups that were formed by political parties or are initially the military wings of these parties, with definite political characterization; the third are the armed groups that have been present in Iraq for years and have fought battles against US forces and also participated in operations in Syria.
According to Faleh A. Jabar and Renad Mansour for The Carnegie Foundation, the Popular Mobilization Forces are factionally divided into three Shiite components: a component pledging allegiance to Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei; a faction pledging allegiance to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani; and the faction headed by Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
The main Shiite faction in the Popular Mobilization Forces is the group which maintains strong ties with Iran and pledge spiritual allegiance to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The pro-Khamanei faction would consist of already established parties and of relatively small paramilitaries: Saraya Khurasani, Kata'ib Hezbollah, Kata'ib Abu Fadhl al-Abbas, the Badr Organization and Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq. These groups serve as a kind of border guard—a sort of Iranian insurance policy against threats on its immediate border. Their leaders publicly take pride in such affiliations, professing religious allegiance to Khamenei and his notion of Vilayat al-Faqih.
According to Faleh A. Jabar and Renad Mansour, the pro-Sistani faction consists of those armed groups formed by Sistani's fatwa to defend Shiite holy sites and by paramilitary of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. There are four major groups organized by Najaf: Saraya al-Ataba al-Abbasiya, Saraya al-Ataba al-Hussainiya, Saraya al-Ataba al-Alawiya, and Liwa 'Ali al-Akbar, corresponding to Shiite shrines in Kadhimiya, Karbala, and Najaf. The Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq also swears allegiance to Sistani. After the Badr Organization left the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, its leader Ammar al-Hakim formed new paramilitary units, including Saraya el-Jihad, Saraya el-'Aqida, and Saraya 'Ashura.
Muqtada al-Sadr's Peace Companies (Saraya al-Salam) were founded in June 2014 from the Mahdi Army. According to Faleh A. Jabar and Renad Mansour, the Sadrists have largely been cut off from Iranian funding.
According to Shiite P.M.F. officials, the recruitment campaign is successful also because it is administered by the religious establishment and Shia religious scholars from the hawza are instrumental in recruitment. Recruitment via Shia Islamist political party structures and even individual clerics or members of parliament is pursued more the official PMF Commission, which lacks recruitment offices.
In July 2019, US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern affairs, Joan Polaschik, stated “rogue” Iranian-backed militias plan operations that could kill Americans, coalition partners and Iraqis and U.S. diplomatic facilities and continue to conduct indirect fire attacks. This led the U.S. to remove non-emergency staff from its embassy in Baghdad and close its consulate in Basra. At the same hearing, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East Michael Mulroy said that Iran’s “cynical interference” undermines Iraqi interests by supporting non-compliant militias, more loyal to Tehran than Baghdad, undermining the Iraqi prime minister’s authority, preying on ordinary Iraqis by crime and destabilizing the fragile communities liberated from ISIS.
Shiite Turkmen componentEdit
According to Faleh A. Jabar and Renad Mansour for The Carnegie Foundation, Shiite Turkmen joined Popular Mobilization Forces in order to increase their local autonomy from Kurdistan and in order to counter Sunni Turkmen, who joined the Islamic State.
The equipment of the Popular Mobilization Forces is a major issue. At the end of January 2015, a video showed a large Kata'ib Hezbollah convoy transporting several American-made military vehicles, including an M1 Abrams Tank, M113 armoured personnel carriers, Humvees, and MRAP vehicles as well as Iranian-made Safir 4×4s and technicals with Kata'ib Hezbollah's flags flying. According to some sources, the Iraqi government is supplying U.S.-provided military equipment to the militias. Iraqi minister of transportation, and the head of the Badr Organization, Hadi Al-Amiri criticized the U.S. for the lack of providing arms. On the other hand, U.S. officials argue that the operators of heavy weapons allegedly taken over by Kata'ib Hezbollah were regular Iraqi soldiers who raised the Hezbollah flag merely in solidarity with the militant group, while the same source acknowledge that is generally difficult to monitor U.S.-made weapons.
Alongside U.S.-made military equipment handed over to or fallen into the hands of Popular Mobilization Forces, Iran is a major supplier; according to some sources in 2014 Tehran sold Baghdad nearly $10 billion worth of weapons and hardware. Furthermore, there is a daily supply of Iranian weapons, including Iranian-made 106 mm anti-tank guns as well as 120 mm, 82 mm and 60 mm mortars.
In May 2015, the United States started delivering about $1.6 billion worth of military equipment under the supervision of the Government of Iraq. According to some sources, the major beneficiaries of the weapons deliveries are to be the Popular Mobilization Forces.
The Popular Mobilization Forces have been involved in several battles of the military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant since their founding, the most important being the Second Battle of Tikrit. After the end of the battle of Tikrit, the complex of occupation forces handed over security issues to local police and security forces.
On Monday April 6, 2015, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that, while being heavily involved in the conquest of Tikrit, the Popular Mobilization Forces will not join the planned Mosul conquest. This statement was reversed in March 2016, when al-Abadi reportedly rejected calls by Nineveh's provincial council to prohibit Popular Mobilization Forces from taking part in retaking Mosul.
In Autumn 2016, they participated in the Mosul Offensive acting as left flank of the anti-IS forces, and by November had captured a number of smaller towns and villages from IS, expanding roughly along a line from Qayyarah to Tal Afar, while keeping a distance (20+ km) to the city of Mosul itself.
Laws and directivesEdit
The Laws and conduct by which the PMF should abide are those of the Iraqi Government since the Iraqi Prime Minister has the final control over the PMF. Nonetheless, Marja' Ali al-Sistani issued an "Advice and Guidance to the Fighters on the Battlefields" which included a 20 points form of how the PMF should conduct themselves.
The main points were that the PMF should treat the liberated areas locals with the Islamic Law which is as quoted from the second point which is a Hadith of the Muslim Prophet Muhammed; "Do not indulge in acts of extremism, do not disrespect dead corpses, do not resort to deceit, do not kill an elder, do not kill a child, do not kill a woman, and do no not cut down trees unless necessity dictates otherwise". Other points included the same aforementioned guidance when treating non-Muslims and also not to steal or disrespect people even if they are the families of the ISIS fighters.
Kata'ib Hizballah, one of the militias of the PMF, is listed by Japan's Public Security Intelligence Agency as a terrorist organization. The United Arab Emirates also classifies it as terrorist. Kata'ib Hizballah was designated a terrorist organization in 2009 by the United States. Its leader, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, was also designated a terrorist.
Domestic criticisms and war crimes accusationsEdit
Some of the militias constituting the Popular Mobilization Forces have been accused of war crimes motivated by sectarian revenge: according to Amnesty International, Shiite militias have abducted, tortured and killed numerous Sunni civilians and, according to Western sources, in Tikrit militants have committed some violences, while being publicily praised; On the wake of the conquest of Tikrit, Iraqi authorities declared that war crimes will be investigated and their perpetrators punished.
High Iraqi Shiite authorities, such as Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani or Ayatollah Hussein Al-Sadr, called on the militants in the popular mobilization forces to avoid war crimes or other despicable behaviour and ad hoc government inquiry committees have been established in order to find the truth.
Mosul Sunni dignitaries and officials accuse PMF of killings of Sunnis, takeovers of schools and the forcing of Sunnis to sell property in the prime real estate area close to the Mosul shrine. According to City council's deputy chairman Muzher Fleih, 650 Sunnis have disappeared. On the other hand, militia leaders insist any abuses are isolated incidents, and target only captured Islamic State's collaborators.
Alongside war crimes accusations, also some concerns regarding constitutionality and politicization of al-Hashd al-Shaabi have been raised: Sunni sources have called for depoliticization of the Popular Mobilization Forces, to be achieved under the proposed National Guard bill. For what it regards constitutionality issues, according to some critics, the Popular Mobilization Forces are not sanctioned by the Constitution of Iraq and, nonetheless, they have a budget and are paid on regular basis by the Iraqi government, whilst the legally established Peshmerga have not received their wages.
The official status and actual dependence of the Popular Mobilization Forces on the Baghdad government and its help is not fully resolved as of late 2015. However, by the end of 2016, a law was passed bringing the PMU under the auspices of the Supreme Commander of the Iraqi National Army, incorporating PMF units into the official army of Iraq and removing any official affiliation with any social, religious or political group.
Recruitment of Yazidis in Kurdish areas is deemed to go against official Kurdish policy against the move: in February 2015, Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani asked the Peshmerga minister to stop all militia activities in the area.
Concerns of growthEdit
The Popular Mobilization Forces are accused of accruing a power base in Iraq and of being Iran's instrument to dominate Iraq. The main fears are that the permanent militia would turn themselves into enforcers of Shiite domination. The Iraqi Police headquarters in the Muthanna Governorate announced that they were in the process of commissioning Popular Mobilization battalions with security tasks in early January. These tasks included protecting public and private establishments in open desert areas, among others. Other reports indicate that Popular Mobilization is securing border outlets and controlling security in liberated cities.
According to General Ali Omran, commander of the army's 5th Infantry Division, P.M.F. militias are too entrenched in politics and at risk of "coming to blows" with the Armed Forces. In February 2016, militiamen refused orders to vacate a building in a military base north of Baghdad.
According to AP-interviewed government officials and militia leaders, due to the fear of another Sunni minority rule over the Iraqi Shia majority, militias forming the Popular Mobilization Forces want to remain a permanent, independent armed force; Hamed al-Jazaeery, head of the al-Khorasani Brigades militia, stated that the model is the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
- United Nations – In a speech of its Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), Jan Kubis on (07/22/2015) mentioned the Popular Mobilization Forces, saying that the Iraqi security forces, with the critical support of the Popular Mobilization Forces, tribal Sunni volunteers, and the International Coalition, have yet to significantly change the situation on the ground"
- CJTF–OIR - Commander of the CJTF-OIR Lt Gen. Stephen J. Townsend described the PMF militias as "remarkably disciplined" allies since he arrived. He added that the PMF could make Iraq more secure—if they become a national guard-like force, and not a "puppet" of Iran.
- Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that the Popular Mobilization Forces, the Iraqi Shiite militia, is the "religious organization," carrying out mass killings in the country with support of Iranian generals.
Airstrikes on the groupEdit
Sayyid al-Shuhada, a member of the mainly Shiite force, stated that their forces were bombed by US planes on August 7, 2017 in Al Anbar Governorate near the Iraq–Syria border and that Hashd al-Shaabi forces suffered many casualties. The Baghdad-based spokesman of the U.S.-led coalition, Army Col. Ryan Dillon, dismissed the allegation, saying on Twitter that no coalition airstrikes took place in the area at the time. According to the militia's deputy, Ahmed al-Maksousi, they were hit by artillery fire in Syria's Jamouna area, about 12 kilometers (about 7.5 miles) from the Iraqi border. Along with 40 killed, many militiamen were wounded, al-Maksousi added.
On 22 August 2019, The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), blamed the United States and Israel for a number of bombings on their warehouses and bases. The group accused the US of permitting Israeli drones to join its forces for executing attacks on Iraqi territory. The group pledged to counter any attack in the future. On August 23, a fatwa issued by Ayatollah Kazem al-Haeri called for attacks against US troops in Iraq, "the presence of any US military force in Iraq is forbidden [haram] under any title: military training, advice or the rationale of fighting terrorism".
On 29 December 2019, the United States bombed a headquarters of Kataib Hezbollah in al-Qa'im. The airstrikes targeted three targets in Iraq and two in Syria of Kataib Hezbollah, and included weapons depots and command posts according to Reuters and a US military statement. The attack was in retaliation for the attack on K-1 two days earlier and other attacks on bases with US forces in Iraq. The earlier attack killed a US contractor and wounded four soldiers. Several members of Kataib Hezbollah were killed and wounded in the airstrikes.
On 3 January 2020, PMU militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, PMU PR head Mohammed Redha al-Jabri, and the Quds Force head, Qasem Soleimani, were among those killed in a targeted U.S. airstrike near the Baghdad airport.
- al Khadimi, Mustafa (12 March 2015). "Will Sistani be able to control popular mobilization forces?". Al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 13 March 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
- Al-Nidawi, Omar (May 21, 2019). "The growing economic and political role of Iraq's PMF". Middle East Institute.
- Sly, Liz (15 February 2015). "Pro-Iran militias' success in Iraq could undermine U.S." The Washington Post. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
- Mamouri, Ali (July 2, 2019). "Iraq orders militias to fully integrate into state security forces". Al-Monitor.
- Mamouri, Ali (July 8, 2019). "Shiite militias react angrily to decree integrating them into Iraqi forces". Al-Monitor.
- "US kills powerful Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad airstrike". www.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2020.
- Boduszynski, Mieczyslaw. "Fighting the Islamic State won't change the sectarian image of Iraq's militias". Washington Post.
- "Part 2: Pro-Iran Militias in Iraq". Wilson Center. April 27, 2018.
- "روسيا تجهز فصائل الحشد الشعبي باسلحة متطورة لمواجهة القوات التركية – ALJOURNAL NEWS – وكالة اخبار الجورنال". www.aljournal.com.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-05-11. Retrieved 2020-05-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "تنسيق بين قسد والميليشيات العراقية على الحدود السورية (فيديو)". أورينت نت.
- "Pro-Iranian Militias Vow to Hit US and Israel After Unclaimed Airstrike Near Syria-Iraq Border". CNSNews.com. June 21, 2018.
- "Iraq Blasts Alleged Israeli Air Strike in Syria on Forces 'Fighting ISIS'". Haaretz. June 19, 2018.
- ""الطريقة النقشبندية بالعراق":جيش الطريقة حمي أهل السنة من إرهاب ميلشيات الحشد الشعبى". امان.
- < "سليماني يقود "الحشد الشعبي" على الحدود العراقية – السورية - صحيفة الاتحاد". Al-Ittihad.
- Rivera, Esteban (2019-06-04) [15 November 2014]. "Syrian Islamic Front (Syria)". Flags of the World. CRW Flags. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
- "اشتباكات بين الحشد الشعبي ووحدات كردية في سنجار". RT Arabic.
- "Beware Iran's 'Axis of Resistance' | People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)".
- Pike, John. "Hashd al-Shaabi / Hashd Shaabi / Popular Mobilisation Units / People's Mobilization Forces". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
- "Islamic State: The caliphate strikes back". The Economist. 23 May 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
- Mansour, Renad; Jabar, Faleh A. (28 April 2017). "The Popular Mobilization Forces and Iraq's Future". Carnegie Middle East Center. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
- El-Ghobashy, Tamer; Salim, Mustafa (2017-12-15). "Top Iraqi Shiite cleric calls for scaling back militia influence, backing prime minister". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-12-17.
- O'Connor, Tom (March 9, 2018). "Iran-backed militias officially join Iraqi military and threaten U.S. troops". Newsweek.
- "الادارة المركزية – مديرية الاعلام". al-hashed.net. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
- "الحشد الشعبي يعلن رفع العلم العراقي فوق مركز شرطة بشير بكركوك". قناه السومرية العراقية.
- http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/video/4af5a5e7-d537-4914-b656-5cc387e7fd7b and http://www.aljazeera.net/encyclopedia/military/2017/10/23/أبرز-فصائل-الحشد-الشعبي-في-العراق
- "الحسكة.. التنظيم يهاجم الحشد الشعبي العراقي في معبر تل صفوك". www.zamanalwsl.net. Retrieved Jan 4, 2020.
- "AP Interview: Iraq's al-Maliki denies seeking comeback". 2 February 2015. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- "Islamic State: Iraq Battle Against ISIS For Tikrit Led By Iran-Backed Shiite Militia Forces". International Business Times. March 3, 2015.
- Antonopoulos, Paul (December 19, 2016). "Law passes making the PMU a part of Iraq's national forces". Al-Masdar News.
- "-Volunteer forces must be under govt. control: Ayat. Sistani". PressTV. Retrieved 2017-12-17.
- Mamouri, Ali (17 February 2015). "Concern in Iraq grows over unregulated Shiite forces". al-Monitor.com. Archived from the original on 24 March 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- "Iraqi PMU announce launch of their Special Forces training course to form a new Special Forces Division". Reddit.
- "Iraq elections become a battleground for Iranian influence". The Guardian. 12 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
- al-Khadimi, Mustafa (22 December 2014). "Iraqi volunteers' victories don't justify atrocities". al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
- Publisher, Al-Maalomah. "الحشد العشائري يؤكد انه جزء من هيئة الحشد ومقاتليه يتقاضون رواتبهم من بغداد | وكالة المعلومة".
- "الحشد الشعبي: الحشد العشائري جزء اساسي منا [صوتي] -كل العراق الاخبارية [أين]". www.alliraqnews.com.
- Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi (31 October 2017). "Hashd Brigade Numbers Index". Retrieved 4 August 2018.
- الأمين العام لسرايا عاشوراء: إغتنمنا أسلحة سعودية كانت بحوزة ارهابيي داعش. الوقت. June 18, 2016.
- "Iraqi PMF attempts to cut off Islamic State in Mosul". Long War Journal. 4 November 2016.
- "الغد برس". www.alghadpress.com.
- "بالصور.. لواء علي الاكبر يوزع الكتب والمستلزمات المدرسية على الطلبة في بيجي". وكالة نون الخبرية.
- "US mulls how best to Control pro-Iran Factions". Retrieved Jan 4, 2020.
- "سرايا "الجهاد" تدمر رتلا عسكريا لـ"داعش" من 8 مركبات غرب الموصل". الوطن. November 29, 2016.
- "Iraqi Shiite militia commander close to Qassem Soleimani killed in Aleppo -". The Long War Journal.
- "عشرة وجوه حضرت اجتماع النجف ببيت الصدر.. وهذا ما نوقش". oneiraqnews.com.
- "The Christian militia fighting IS". BBC News. 11 April 2016.
- "Babylon Brigade: A look at the Christian militia fighting against ISIS". The Christian Times. 12 April 2016.
- Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi (6 April 2019). "Hashd Formations of Ninawa: Interview with Nawader Shammar". Retrieved 7 September 2019.
- Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi (6 September 2019). "Tribal Hashd of Ninawa: Interview with the 39th Regiment". Retrieved 7 September 2019.
- التحرير, هيئة (February 29, 2016). "الفرطوسي: قوات البراق ستشارك في معارك تحرير هيت".
- "Better pay, better weapons: are shiite militias growing more powerful than iraqi army?". Niqash. January 29, 2015.
- Saadoun, Mustafa (14 January 2016). "It's official: Sunnis joining Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units". Al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
- Wright, Robin (13 March 2015). "In War Against ISIS, Numbers Don't Always Tell the Story". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- Raineri, Daniele (4 April 2015). "Dentro a Tikrit, gli sciiti arrivano sui luoghi delle stragi" (in Italian). Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Hashd al-Shaabi / Hashd Shaabi Popular Mobilisation Units / People's Mobilization Forces". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
- Nasir, Ali (2 March 2015). "Shiite militia recruiting Yezidis, strengthening foothold in Shingal". Rudaw. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
- al-Kadhimi, Mustafa (10 July 2015). "Why Iraq needs to depoliticize their Popular Mobilization Units". Al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 22 September 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
- Ali, Ahmed (14 November 2014). "Iraq's Prime Minister Reshuffles the Security Commanders". Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- "Iraqi Popular Forces Warn to Disclose Coalition's Support for ISIL". Islamic Invitation Turkey. 1 March 2015. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- "20 Turkish officers train Iraqi Mobilization Forces, media sources". Iraq Tradelink News Agency. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- "Iran's Influence Grows In Iraq (Daniel 8)". Andrew the Prophet. 14 March 2015. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- Hashem, Ali (16 March 2015). "Iraq's Shiite forces claim victory over IS". Al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 20 March 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
- "Analysis 03-06-2015". Center for American and Arab Studies. 7 March 2015. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- "Iraqi forces retake region, police station in Anbar". Iran Daily. 15 March 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- Gulmohamad, Zana K. (17 April 2015). "A short profile of Iraq's Shi'a militias". Terrorism Monitor. XIII (8): 4. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
- Hendawi, Hamza; Qassim, Abdul-Zahra (20 March 2016). "Fears in Iraqi government, army over Shiite militias' power". San Diego Union Tribune. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 20 April 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- Nordland, Rod (7 April 2015). "After Victory Over ISIS in Tikrit, Next Battle Requires a New Template". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- "Iraqi Cabinet regards Popular Mobilization Forces an official organ, Cabinet". Iraq TradeLink News Agency. 7 April 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
- "The National Security Adviser and the chairman of the Popular Mobilization Committee arrives at Kirkuk". Beladi News. January 5, 2015. Archived from the original on February 17, 2015.
- Badran, Tony (6 March 2015). "Exporting the Islamic Revolution". NOW. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- Hashem, Ali (2 January 2015). "Iraqi town celebrates victory over Islamic State". Al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- Sly, Liz (16 February 2015). "Iraq's pro-Iranian Shiite militias lead the war against the Islamic State". Star and Stripes. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- "Possible Armed Confrontations between Popular Mobilization Forces, Iraqi Army". Asharq al-Awsat. 9 February 2016. Archived from the original on 11 April 2016. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
- Grappo, Gary (14 March 2015). "Iran's Strategic Victory: Hezbollah-ized Iraq". The Daily Journalist. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- Barnard, Anne (12 March 2015). "A Balancing Act as Iraq Claims Gains in Tikrit". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "Islamic State in Iraq: The last battle: The long fight to retake Iraq's second-biggest city, Mosul, has begun". The Economist. 16 April 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
- Duman, Bilgay (May 2015). "A new controversial actor in post-ISIS Iraq: al-Hashd al-Shaabi (the Popular Mobilization Forces)" (PDF) (198). ORSAM: 8. Retrieved 18 June 2017. Cite journal requires
- Samaha, Nour. "Iraq's 'Good Sunni'".
- Mansour, Renad (1 February 2016). "The Popularity of the Hashd in Iraq". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
- Carey, Glen (July 23, 2019). "The Next U.S.-Iran Flashpoint Could Be Iraq". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
- Roggio, Bill; Weiss, Caleb (28 January 2015). "Video shows Hezbollah Brigades convoy transporting American M1 tank". The Long War Journal. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- Rogin, Josh; Lake, Eli. "Iran-Backed Militias Are Getting U.S. Weapons". Bloomberg View. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- "Armed with U.S. weapons, infamous militia beating ISIS". 2 February 2015. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- ""Those Kissed US Hands, Didn't Get Anything": Iraq Shiite Commander". Alalam. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- Missy, Ryan (26 March 2015). "Tracking U.S. weapons grows harder in the fog of Iraq's fragmented war". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
- Hemdawi, Hamza; Abdul-Zahra, Qassim (12 January 2015). "Iran eclipses U.S. as Iraq's ally in fight against militants". MilitaryTimes. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
- "Better pay, better weapons: Are Shiite militias growing more powerful than Iraqi army?". Preemptive Love Coalition. 31 January 2015. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- Enders, David (6 June 2015). "US Starts Sending $1.6 Billion Worth of Promised Arms to Iraq — But Who Will Get Them?". Vice News. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- Taylor, Ann (28 June 2017). "The Battle for Mosul Enters Its Final Stage". The Atlantic. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
- "Mobilization forces hand over security affairs to local police in Tikrit". Iraq Tradelink News Agency. 4 April 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- "Iraqi PM Abadi: Shiite militia won't join battle for Mosul". Rudaw. 7 April 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- Saleh, Ibrahim (3 March 2016). "'All Iraqis' can help retake Mosul from Daesh: PM". Andalou Agency. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
- "Shiite volunteers enter Anbar province". Iraq TradeLink News Agency. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
- Salama, Vivian (13 June 2015). "Iraq militias say they don't need US help in Anbar operation". Business Insider. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- "Badr Organization: Iraqi Shia popular mobilization forces liberates 21 km in western Anbar". AhlulBayt News Agency. 7 March 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
- "Iraqi forces push into disputed Kirkuk as Kurds withdraw". ABC News. 16 October 2017. Archived from the original on 17 October 2017. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
- "Iraqi Kurdish forces take Kirkuk as Isis sets its sights on Baghdad". The Guardian. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
- http://www.sistani.org/english/archive/25036/ (www.sistani.org) on 12th of Feb 2015, accessed on the 3rd of April 2015
- "カタイブ・ヒズボラ（KH） | 国際テロリズム要覧（Web版） | 公安調査庁". web.archive.org. March 2, 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-03-02.
- "مجلس الوزراء يعتمد قائمة التنظيمات الإرهابية. | WAM". web.archive.org. November 17, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-11-17.
- Lawrence, John (26 May 2015). "Iraq Situation Report: May 23–25, 2015". understandingwar.org. Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 27 May 2015. See paragraph 5 of the report.
- "Treasury Designates Individual, Entity Posing Threat to Stability in Iraq". www.treasury.gov.
- "Iraqi Shia militias accused of murder spree". Al-Jazeera. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- Mamouri, Ali (12 March 2015). "Iraq needs justice, not revenge". The Arab American News. Archived from the original on 15 March 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- "Iraq's PM Abadi Orders Probe Into Two Civilian Deaths at Anbar Security HQ". Canada Headlines. 13 February 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- "ISIS cross-dressers busted trying to escape Fallujah". Fox News. 21 June 2016 – via NY Post.
- Farhadi, Imad (24 March 2015). "The Constitutionality of the Popular Mobilization Force". The MENA Informer. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
- "Shiite "Popular Mobilization" is unconstitutional". KurdishGlobe. 2 February 2015. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
- Mansour, Renad (16 November 2015). "From Militia to State Force: the Transformation of al-Hashd al-Shaabi". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
- "Is the influence of Iraq's popular mobilization forces growing?". The Regional Center for Strategic Studies Cairo. 13 January 2016. Archived from the original on 9 March 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- https://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=51473#.VbP2xfmqqkp UN News Center on 22-7-2015, accessed on 26-7-2015
- Dozier, Kimberly (26 December 2016). "Top U.S. General: Two More Years to Beat ISIS". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
- "Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Accuses Iraqi Shiite Militia of Mass Killings". Sputnik News.
- http://waarmedia.com/english/iraqi-shiite-militia-says-40-fighters-killed-syria/[permanent dead link]
- "Iran-backed militias blame US for strikes on arms depots in Iraq". KURDISTAN24. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
- Mamouri, Ali (28 August 2019). "Will Iran-backed factions attack US troops in Iraq?". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
- Frantzman, Seth J. (30 December 2019). "US airstrikes target Kataib Hezbollah in Iraq and Syria". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
- O'Connor, Tom; EST, James LaPorta On 1/2/20 at 7:34 PM (January 2, 2020). "Trump orders U.S. drone strike killing Iranian general who had "plans to attack" American diplomats and military". Newsweek.