Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani has ordered security forces to crack down on rogue militias connected to Iran. These militias have recently launched a series of attacks on US forces who are assisting the official Iraqi army. Prime Minister Al Sudani emphasized the need for security forces to pursue the perpetrators of these attacks and maintain security and stability in the country.
Under Iraq’s 2005 constitution, the prime minister serves as the commander in chief of the armed forces. However, military power is distributed among various armed groups with differing political loyalties.
Militias aligned with Tehran initiated a surge of attacks on bases hosting US troops using drones and missiles. They cited their support for Hamas, a Palestinian armed group that launched a significant attack on Israel on October 7. These attacks have targeted Ain Al Asad in western Iraq, a military base near Baghdad’s international airport, and Harir in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil.
The militias claim they are targeting American troops due to Washington’s support for Israel in its conflict with Hamas. The Iraqi military, which owns the bases, has condemned these attacks, which have previously resulted in casualties among Iraqi soldiers and US personnel.
The government’s statement is unlikely to change the situation on the ground. Iraq is caught in the middle of US-Iran rivalry and regional tensions, making it challenging to control the influence of Iran-backed militias. Despite efforts by previous governments, including the one led by the pro-US Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi, these militias continue to exert influence. There are approximately 2,500 US troops in Iraq on an advisory and training mission, but their presence remains a contentious issue.