Iran-backed militias now controlling IS group's 'legacies' in Iraq: report

Iran-backed militias now controlling IS group's 'legacies' in Iraq: report
Iran-backed militias have sought to fill the vacuum left behind by the Islamic State group in Iraq, according to a Newslines Institute report.
2 min read
08 May, 2021
Local politicians have reportedly sought the PMF's political and financial support [Getty]
Iran-backed Shia militias have taken control of the Islamic State group's “legacies” in Iraq, namely the oil wells and commercial relations on the Iraqi-Syrian borders, according to a report by the US Newlines Institute.

Since Mosul and the rest of the Nineveh province were liberated from IS control, the militias have sought to fill the vacuum left behind by the extremist group.

They have begun building security, social, political and economic structures, along with demographic engineering projects, in order to secure control over the area, Al Sharq Al Awsat cited the institute's report as saying.

The report aimed to show how the Iran-linked forces aim to dominate the strategic region of Iraq that connects it with Syria.

“The militias’ infiltration into police and security forces has allowed them to control Iraqi citizens’ movements, trade, occupation and other aspects of their private life,” it said.

Some factions have threatened journalists, blocked roads to important commercial areas to undermine businesses, and have even evacuated scores of residents from villages to unknown locations, the report added.

The militias have allegedly used threats and violent acts to ensure their favoured academics are granted positions in important educational institutions. Some forces have even reportedly established their own schools and colleges, according to the report.

The report said that the militias have also seized more than 72 oil fields in the Qayyarah area south of Mosul, with around 100 tanker trucks of crude oil plundered every day. They also reportedly make hundreds of thousands of dollars per day through extortion at illegal checkpoints they have set up in their territories.

Additionally, they have reportedly demanded protection money of $1,000 to $3,000 monthly from larger restaurants.

“Owners who fail to pay could have their restaurants blown up, and other parties, including the Iraqi army, would falsely attribute the explosion to ISIS,” said the report.

The report highlighted that local politicians have cooperated with some of the militias for political and financial protection, including the Popular Mobilization Forces’ (PMF).

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