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April 20, 2017

Politico Whitewashes Iranian Militias

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Politico’s report “Iranian-Americans, livid over Trump visa ban, to get their day in court,” (April 17, 2017) sanitizes the role of Iranian militias fighting in Iraq and Syria.

In an article about a lawsuit brought forth by Iranian-American groups against a U.S. visa ban, Politico reporters Josh Gerstein and Nahal Toosi claim that “Iranian-supported militias have fought alongside U.S.-backed Iraqi forces to beat back the Islamic State.” Although this is true—and Politico does note Tehran’s role as a state-sponsor of terror—it omits important information about the militias.

Iranian-backed militias are indeed fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). However, they are not doing so out of some altruistic motive as the Politico article might lead some to believe. Rather, the groups—also known as Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs)—are seeking to extend Tehran’s influence. And, as CAMERA has noted, they are frequently committing atrocities while doing so (“Washington Times Covers Underreported Iran-backed Shi’ite Militias,” CAMERA, Sept. 16, 2016). For example, mass graves of hundreds of executed Sunni Muslim civilians who were “liberated” from the Islamic State by PMUs, have been discovered.

The militias also have ties to terrorist groups, as Michael Pregent, an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute and a former intelligence adviser to U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, told CAMERA in a September 2016 interview. Indeed, the deputy commander of the PMUs, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, is the leader of Kata’ib Hezbollah.

Although the PMUs are, like the U.S. and its allies, fighting the Islamic State, they also serve as leverage for Iran. As CAMERA has pointed out, the Islamic Republic has threatened to use the Shi’ite militias against U.S. troops in the region should Washington not acquiesce to some of Tehran’s wishes (“Where’s the Coverage? Iran Threatens U.S. Troops,” Dec. 11, 2015)

Iran is also backing Shi’ite militias, such as the newly formed so-called Golan Liberation Army, who have as their immediate goal the destruction of Israel. In a March 8, 2017 interview announcing that group’s formation, militia spokesman Hasham Al-Mousawi, blamed the Jewish state for “Iraq’s destruction” and claimed that the United States created ISIS.

Posted by SD at April 20, 2017 12:34 PM

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