Iraqi Forces Raid Iran-allied Militia Headquarters, 14 Arrested


Iraqi government forces arrested about 14 members of an Iran-allied militia when it raided their headquarters in southern Baghdad, security sources said on Friday.

A statement by the army’s Joint Operation Command said the raid took place after receiving intelligence information about those behind previous attacks on the Green Zone and Baghdad’s airport as well as people planning to carry out new attacks on government targets.

“Counter-terrorism forces carried out the operation, arresting 14 people and confiscating two launch pads,’’ the statement added.

Sources earlier told dpa that the raid targeted the headquarters of the Kataib Hezbollah militia in Iraq.

“These groups do not want to become part of the state and its commitments nor under the authority of the commander-in-chief of the armed forces,’’ the army said without naming the groups.

“Following the arrests, armed groups approached government buildings in the Green Zone, including the headquarters of the anti-terrorism agency,’’ the army said.

Witnesses said members of Kataib Hezbollah briefly surrounded government buildings in al-Karrada neighbourhood, close to Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, home to foreign embassies and government offices.

Kataib Hezbollah is a faction of the Iran-allied paramilitary group, Hashd Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Forces), which was praised by newly-appointed Prime Minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, for its role in fighting the Islamic State extremist group.

However, Friday’s arrests come one week after al-Kadhimi said he “will not tolerate rogue groups’’ that aim to undermine the country’s stability after four Katyusha rockets struck the Green Zone.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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