Mustafa AY – TDO – 24.10.2017 In an exclusive meeting with Saudi and Iraqi high officials, Rex Tillerson passed on his concerns to Iraqi officials on the issue of increasing power of Shia Hashbi Shabi. Secretary Rex Tillerson suggested Iraqis that Shia militias -also called as ‘Popular Mobilisation Unit’- should be sent back to their country Iran as soon as the mission of purge of DAES in Iraq is achieved. Following this official request, Iraqi officials immediately refused to fulfill Tillerson’s advice on account of the factor that Iranian Revolutionary Guards-backed Shia militias have reportedly exceeded the size of 100.000 already.

An Iran-backed auxiliary force that reached such a big size (over 100.000) cannot be dismantled in an easy way because this sort of willingness by Baghdad may trigger sectarian wars in more than Iraq in the close future, which Iraq and regional figures other than Iran cannot take this risk now. If we also consider the root of this militia unit, that Baghdad shows them the way back to Iran does not sound so realistic. Because Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani - Iraq’s one of the most important religious figure in terms of Shias – released a fatwa that was aimed at calling Shias to war against DAES. So, ones coming with Fatwa and supported by Iran cannot be easily sent back to home. This decision is not up to Iraq or USA, but to Iran-backed Shia cleric, so indirectly Iran.

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