The global coronavirus pandemic has provided the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), known also as al-Hashd al-Shaabi, with an opportunity to revive its reputation and to augment its propaganda campaign.
Iraqi soldiers wear protective face masks, following the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as they stand guard during the hand over of Qayyarah Airfield West from US-led coalition forces to Iraqi Security Forces, in the south of Mosul, Iraq March 26, 2020. (Reuters)
However, ordinary Iraqis and activists are mobilizing to combat the pandemic; volunteers, students and local business have stepped in to help their communities in the face of the increasing infections across the country. The activists need profound support from the Iraqi state and international organizations in order to sustain their activities, and reduce the PMU’s politicalized campaigns
PMU and COVID-19
The Martyr Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis Hospital in Karbala, Iraq. (Screengrab: Twitter)