International organizations’ warnings of the Popular Mobilization militias have brought the latter into the picture again depicting it as a dangerous organization.
There is also a distortion campaign that aims to mislead the world about the Popular Mobilization militias’ legitimacy by comparing it with other groups, such as the Sahwat and Peshmerga.
During the last few years the Americans spent in Iraq, the military command formed a group of Sunni tribes consisting of Anbar citizens.
The aim was to get rid of the terrorist al-Qaeda organization after the Americans failed. At the time, CIA officials were quoted in the New York Times as saying that Anbar was a hopeless situation as the situation in west of Iraq has completely gone out of control. A force called ‘Sahwat’ was formed and it was ridiculed considering that all people in the governorate were suspects and that al-Qaeda - particularly the most dangerous branch which Abu Musab al-Zarqawi formed and which we call ISIS today - has reached the peak of its influence. This al-Qaeda branch killed the Sahwat leader and fierce battles erupted and ended two years later after eliminating the terrorists.
Back then, Nouri al-Maliki’s government objected to forming a sectarian tribal power because the Sahwat were Sunni and they feared they will turn into an armed force that opposes the central authority.
Other parallel force
Iran and sectarian leaders desire to establish a sectarian military power that’s parallel to the army and that follows them. It wants the state to bear the costs of arming this power and paying its forces’ wages. The idea is similar to what Ayatollah Khomeini’s followers did after the revolution against the Shah as they established the Revolutionary Guards to enable themselves in power and eliminate the other Iranian groups which were also part of the revolution.Abdulrahman al-Rashed