MESOP MIDEAST WATCH: Iraqi Shia Militia Leader Opens New Recruitment Despite Sadr’s Call for Dissolution

ERBIL 20-11-2021 — Iraqi Shia militia group Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada announced on Friday a new round of recruitment to stand against the military presence of the US in Iraq. Abu Ala Al-Walai, the commander of the militia group which is known for close links to Iran, said in a statement published on his Twitter account that his group was accepting application as “the main war” is approaching.

He explained that the deadline for the withdrawal of the US combat forces from Iraq is 31 December, and the Shia militias should be ready in case the US Forces refuse to leave.

Opening new recruitment by Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada came a day after Muqtada al-Sadr, a powerful Shia cleric and the leader of the Sadrist Movement, asked the militia groups to disband and hand over their weapons to the state.

Al-Walai also called on other Shia militia groups to stay on alert “for a historic and decisive confrontation with the occupation forces on 31 December 2021.”

Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada is one of the Iran-backed militia groups accused of attacks on the US embassy in Baghdad and US military forces across Iraq.