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    A Look at the Iraqi Government’s Relationship with Armed Groups that Are Clashing with US Forces

    A Look at the Iraqi Government's Relationship with Armed Groups that Are Clashing with US Forces

    — A U.S. strike in that killed a commander of the powerful Kataib Hezbollah paramilitary group this week highlighted the ambiguous status of the country's -allied armed factions. Some operate simultaneously as a part of the official security forces and outside of state control.

    That has put the government of Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani in an increasingly delicate position as it attempts to balance between its relations with the United States and with Iraqi armed groups that are sometimes in direct conflict with U.S. forces.

    Here's a look at the complicated relationship between Iraq, paramilitary groups such as Kataib Hezbollah and the United States:

    WHAT IS KATAIB HEZBOLLAH?

    Kataib Hezbollah is one of the most powerful armed groups in Iraq. It was formed during the vacuum that followed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, with support from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard.

    The Iraqi faction is part of the Popular Mobilization Forces. The PMF is a coalition of primarily Shiite, Iran-backed armed groups that joined in the fight against the Islamic State group after it seized large sections of Iraq in 2014.

    The PMF became allies of convenience with forces from a U.S.-led international coalition fighting IS.

    However, Kataib Hezbollah and some other groups that are part of the PMF also have attacked U.S. forces in Iraq.

    The U.S. has designated Kataib Hezbollah as a terrorist group. In January 2020, a…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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