Close
Date TimeJuly 02, 2019
Voice

Iraq tries to bring Iran-backed militias in country to heel as tensions escalate
Iraq’s prime minister is attempting to bring powerful Iran-backed militias in the country under the control of the Iraqi armed forces, as he tries to placate the US amid soaring tensions with Tehran. Adel Abdul-Mahdi issued a decree ordering the militias, which fall under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), to come to heel by July 31 or be deemed “illegitimate”. Mr Abdul-Mahdi has come under pressure from Washington to curb Iran’s influence in Iraq, particularly after several recent unclaimed attacks against US interests in the country. The PMF, a collection of mostly Shia groups who fought Islamic State alongside the Iraqi army and number more than 140,000 fighters, technically fall under Mr Abdul-Mahdi’s authority but PMF's top brass are politically aligned with Iran. The militias rose to prominence after the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, when they fought American occupation, but have since gained outsized influence in politics and the economy, which some see as a threat to Iraq’s security and sovereignty. Fighters of the Popular Mobilisation Forces flash the victory gesture as they advance through a street in the town of Tal Afar, west of Mosul, after the Iraqi government announced the launch of the operation to retake it from Isil Credit: AFP Iraq has found itself in the middle of Iranian and American allies as both sides threaten war. Iraq hosts more than 5,000 US troops, and it is also home to the PMF, some of whom want the US forces to leave. Qais al-Khizali, the leader of one of the most powerful Iranian-backed Shia militias in Iraq, tweeted that the move to integrate the PMF in the armed forces is a step in the right direction. Muqtada al-Sadr, a populist Shia cleric, also welcomed the decree, saying his faction known as the Peace Brigades would implement it. In a tweet, he described the decision as an important "first step" toward building a state, but he also expressed concern that the decision would not be implemented properly. It is not clear how Mr Abdul-Mahdi will enforce the order, where predecessor Haider al-Abadi failed. "At this time I think Abdul Mahdi was incentivised because of American pressure to put them all in one box in order to protect them, but will they comply?" said Hashim al-Hashimi, a Baghdad-based security expert who advises the government. Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani exercises control over Iran's proxies Credit: Getty "Their compliance hinges on Iran's receptiveness to these orders, if Iran is not receptive to these orders they will be like the ones Abadi issued." Kirk Sowell, an Iraq expert at Utica Risk Services, a Middle East-focused political risk firm, told the Telegraph he did not expect the move to have much impact. "Mahdi is doing it as an assertion of his authority as commander-in-chief, since there are so many open doubts about it," he said. "Abadi issued a very similar order back in 2016 and it really did not change anything other than forcing militia political leaders to give lip-service to the division between politics and martial activity." The crisis gripping the Middle East stems from President Donald Trump's withdrawal of the United States from the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers last year, and then imposing crippling new sanctions on Tehran. Last month, the US ordered the evacuation of nonessential diplomatic staff from Iraq amid unspecified threats from Iran. Since then, there have been a string of attacks on US interests in Iraq, including military bases where American trainers are based and a rocket attack near the US Embassy in Baghdad.




Related Stories
Dad Charged With Homicide After Infant Twins Found Dead In Hot CarDad Charged With Homicide After Infant Twins Found Dead In Hot Car
U.S. Intel Officials Eye Disinformation Campaign Targeting John Bolton’s FamilyU.S. Intel Officials Eye Disinformation Campaign Targeting John Bolton’s Family
The Shady Connections of a Retired U.S. General Who Made It Rain in IraqThe Shady Connections of a Retired U.S. General Who Made It Rain in Iraq
How a Green Beret’s Hazing Led to Murder Charges for Elite TroopsHow a Green Beret’s Hazing Led to Murder Charges for Elite Troops
As Iran-U.S. Tensions Rise, Hezbollah Readies for War With IsraelAs Iran-U.S. Tensions Rise, Hezbollah Readies for War With Israel
Fox News Host Pete Hegseth Getting Married to Colleague at Trump’s New Jersey ClubFox News Host Pete Hegseth Getting Married to Colleague at Trump’s New Jersey Club
You had the Nobel Prize? Trump learns of Yazidi activist Murad'You had the Nobel Prize?' Trump learns of Yazidi activist Murad
Diabetic Man Dies After Being Deported To Iraq Despite Never Living There, Lawyer SaysDiabetic Man Dies After Being Deported To Iraq Despite Never Living There, Lawyer Says
How Boris Johnson, The Clown Prince Of British Politics, Finally Got His CoronationHow Boris Johnson, The Clown Prince Of British Politics, Finally Got His Coronation
US Navy Seals platoon sent home from Iraq for drinking alcohol as sexual assault allegations investigatedUS Navy Seals platoon sent home from Iraq for drinking alcohol as sexual assault allegations investigated
Latest News
Amazon fires: Bolsonaro actively trying to devastate rainforest, leaked documents showAmazon fires: Bolsonaro actively trying to devastate rainforest, leaked documents show
China Buys American Soybeans after Vowing to Boycott U.S. Farm ProductsChina Buys American Soybeans after Vowing to Boycott U.S. Farm Products
Sanders campaign boss concedes he may not win New HampshireSanders campaign boss concedes he may not win New Hampshire
Death row inmate who always maintained his innocence has been executedDeath row inmate who always maintained his innocence has been executed
Man with arsenal allegedly threatened hotel mass shootingMan with arsenal allegedly threatened hotel mass shooting
Trump joked about trading Puerto Rico for Greenland, report saysTrump joked about trading Puerto Rico for Greenland, report says
Sorry! Johnson puts foot in it at Macrons palace'Sorry!' Johnson puts foot in it at Macron's palace
Brooks Koepka streaks into share of lead at Tour ChampionshipBrooks Koepka streaks into share of lead at Tour Championship
Adam Ashley-Cooper and Jordan Petaia make Wallabies cut for Rugby World CupAdam Ashley-Cooper and Jordan Petaia make Wallabies cut for Rugby World Cup
Children As Young As Four Among Thousands Caught With Knives At SchoolChildren As Young As Four Among Thousands Caught With Knives At School
Leaders
Donald-TrumpDonald Trump
45th President of the United States of America
Mike-PenceMike Pence
Vice President of the United States
Theresa-MayTheresa May
British Prime Minister
Angela-MerkelAngela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Emmanuel-MacronEmmanuel Macron
President of France
Justin-TrudeauJustin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Nancy-PelosiNancy Pelosi
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Barack-ObamaBarack Obama
44th U.S. President
Vladimir-PutinVladimir Putin
Russian President
Shinzo-AbeShinzō Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
Related Stories
Dad Charged With Homicide After Infant Twins Found Dead In Hot CarDad Charged With Homicide After Infant Twins Found Dead In Hot Car
U.S. Intel Officials Eye Disinformation Campaign Targeting John Bolton’s FamilyU.S. Intel Officials Eye Disinformation Campaign Targeting John Bolton’s Family
The Shady Connections of a Retired U.S. General Who Made It Rain in IraqThe Shady Connections of a Retired U.S. General Who Made It Rain in Iraq
How a Green Beret’s Hazing Led to Murder Charges for Elite TroopsHow a Green Beret’s Hazing Led to Murder Charges for Elite Troops
As Iran-U.S. Tensions Rise, Hezbollah Readies for War With IsraelAs Iran-U.S. Tensions Rise, Hezbollah Readies for War With Israel
Fox News Host Pete Hegseth Getting Married to Colleague at Trump’s New Jersey ClubFox News Host Pete Hegseth Getting Married to Colleague at Trump’s New Jersey Club
You had the Nobel Prize? Trump learns of Yazidi activist Murad'You had the Nobel Prize?' Trump learns of Yazidi activist Murad
Diabetic Man Dies After Being Deported To Iraq Despite Never Living There, Lawyer SaysDiabetic Man Dies After Being Deported To Iraq Despite Never Living There, Lawyer Says
How Boris Johnson, The Clown Prince Of British Politics, Finally Got His CoronationHow Boris Johnson, The Clown Prince Of British Politics, Finally Got His Coronation
US Navy Seals platoon sent home from Iraq for drinking alcohol as sexual assault allegations investigatedUS Navy Seals platoon sent home from Iraq for drinking alcohol as sexual assault allegations investigated
Latest News
Amazon fires: Bolsonaro actively trying to devastate rainforest, leaked documents showAmazon fires: Bolsonaro actively trying to devastate rainforest, leaked documents show
China Buys American Soybeans after Vowing to Boycott U.S. Farm ProductsChina Buys American Soybeans after Vowing to Boycott U.S. Farm Products
Sanders campaign boss concedes he may not win New HampshireSanders campaign boss concedes he may not win New Hampshire
Death row inmate who always maintained his innocence has been executedDeath row inmate who always maintained his innocence has been executed
Man with arsenal allegedly threatened hotel mass shootingMan with arsenal allegedly threatened hotel mass shooting
Trump joked about trading Puerto Rico for Greenland, report saysTrump joked about trading Puerto Rico for Greenland, report says
Sorry! Johnson puts foot in it at Macrons palace'Sorry!' Johnson puts foot in it at Macron's palace
Brooks Koepka streaks into share of lead at Tour ChampionshipBrooks Koepka streaks into share of lead at Tour Championship
Adam Ashley-Cooper and Jordan Petaia make Wallabies cut for Rugby World CupAdam Ashley-Cooper and Jordan Petaia make Wallabies cut for Rugby World Cup
Children As Young As Four Among Thousands Caught With Knives At SchoolChildren As Young As Four Among Thousands Caught With Knives At School
Leaders
Donald-TrumpDonald Trump
45th President of the United States of America
Mike-PenceMike Pence
Vice President of the United States
Theresa-MayTheresa May
British Prime Minister
Angela-MerkelAngela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Emmanuel-MacronEmmanuel Macron
President of France
Justin-TrudeauJustin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Nancy-PelosiNancy Pelosi
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Barack-ObamaBarack Obama
44th U.S. President
Vladimir-PutinVladimir Putin
Russian President
Shinzo-AbeShinzō Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
How U.S. Chipmakers Pressed Trump to Ease China's Huawei Ban
Last Hand-Built M-Car: 1991 BMW M5
Trump touts July 4 military 'salute'; critics see politics
Know This: A U.S.-Iran War Would Not Be Fought Only in Iran
Airstrike kills 44 migrants in Libyan detention center
It's Time to Formally End the Korean War
Trump says immigrants 'unhappy' with detention centers should stay home
Tesla deliveries surge as automakers report dip in 1H 2019 US sales
2020 Democrats Caught Between Corn and Ethanol Foes in Iowa
Multiple walls collapse in India monsoon rains, killing 31
China to Britain: Keep your 'colonial' hands off Hong Kong
Judge blocks Trump policy keeping asylum-seekers locked up
Hong Kong police vow action over parliament storming
White House Slams Judge for Inflicting ‘Open-Borders Views’ on Country
Trump tells Iran threats 'can come back to bite you' in nuclear standoff
Mexican police revolt against plans to join National Guard
Migrant children's drawings depict 'horrific' conditions in cages
Vegas police fire officer who hesitated during mass shooting
Tanks roll into Washington DC for Trump's 4 July parade, as $2.5m ‘diverted from parks funding’ to help pay for it
Navy Seal found not guilty of murdering Isis captive
Kamala Harris Vaults Into Second Place as Joe Biden Slips After First Debate
Trump baby blimp may not fly over president’s Fourth of July extravaganza
Navy SEAL sentenced for posing with dead Iraq war casualty
Game of Thrones Season 8 ending: Bran is completely DOOMED from the start
Arte Johnson dead: Laugh-In actor dies aged 90 after bladder and prostate cancer
Video: Volcano erupts on Italian island of Stromboli
US Air Force accidentally drops dummy bombs on Florida after hitting a bird
Trump's Political Plan for the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
Cruz Asks DHS to Create Process for Collecting Donations to Migrants in U.S. Custody
Kyle Edmund blows two-set lead as Fernando Verdasco wins five-set thriller
Ex-NFL QB Jared Lorenzen dead at 38 after battling multiple health issues, family says
Trump, producer-president, makes July 4th his own show
That Time Israel Withdrew from the Red Flag Alaska Wargames Because of Iran
Democrats blast Trump's migrant detention centers as inhumane
DHS, CBP officials push back on Democratic delegation's claims of grim conditions at migrant detention centers
Erdogan says people live happily in Xinjiang: Chinese state media
Indian dam overflows after heavy monsoon rains, 12 dead
Fox’s Jesse Watters Says He’s ‘Tired and Bored’ of AOC, Proceeds to Talk at Length About Her
It’s Not Just Warren. The Next Democratic President Is Coming for Your Monopoly
Hubble Captures Stunning Fireworks of Exploding Star
US rapper A$AP Rocky arrested in Sweden after brawl: prosecutor
Hailey Baldwin In Red Bikini & Jean Shorts With Justin Bieber
Biden’s Flip-Flops on China
Trump, Republicans raise $105 million in second quarter for re-election bid
'They started this too late': Trump officials and allies anxious about July 4 fest
China is installing spyware on tourists' phones
Joao Felix: Atletico Madrid signs teenager in fifth richest transfer
Facebook, Instagram And WhatsApp Are Down, Again
Nike pulls US flag-themed shoe after Kaepernick objection: report
Joe Biden raises $21.5 million in second quarter, keeps pace with Buttigieg
Eight arrested over cyberattacks against Hong Kong police
One tourist reported dead in Stromboli volcano eruption
Video Alert: Watch an Iranian F-14A Launch a Fakour-90 Air-To-Air Missile
Iran's Navy Has a Big Problem: A Track Record of Getting Crushed in Battle
Iran breaches uranium stockpile limit set by nuclear deal
Britain summons Chinese ambassador as he accuses Government of taking 'wrong side' on Hong Kong
Does the Air Force Really Need 74 Additional Combat Squadrons?
Ex-Border Patrol employees discuss 'vile' Facebook posts
Kellyanne Conway Calls AOC a Liar for Claim That Migrants Are ‘Drinking Out of Toilets’
Boeing promises $100 million to help families affected by deadly crashes
Trump says US-China trade talks 'already begun'
Iran Under Pressure: Why America's Sanctions Strategy Will Work
Man wears blackface in court then launches bizarre rant about being ‘treated like a black man’
A Reluctant Mueller Is Democrats’ Best Shot to Revive Their Trump Investigations
Harris picks up new endorsement among divided black caucus
Chinese ambassador accuses Britain of taking 'wrong side' over Hong Kong protests
EU, France, Germany and UK urge Iran to reverse uranium decision
'Help': Photos from US migrant detention centres reveal despair and overcrowding as people go a month without showers
China lashes back over British remarks on Hong Kong protests
Poll: Two-Thirds of Voters Say Citizenship Question Should Be Allowed on Census
Another Mysterious Space Signal Was Just Traced Back to Its Source
Kim Kardashian Awarded $2.7 Mil in Knockoff Dress Lawsuit
Parkland shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez slams Madonna's 'God Control' video
Disney Deletes ‘Toy Story 2’ Casting Couch Blooper After #MeToo Movement
Dubai's Princess Haya battles billionaire ruler husband in UK High Court
Biden's support from black voters cut in half after debate: Reuters/Ipsos poll
Two Women Surge in Race to Take on Trump
Beijing’s Message to Hong Kong: Get in Line or Face Irrelevance
Who is Christine Lagarde? The woman who rolled her eyes at Ivanka Trump is now set to take Europe's most most important monetary position
Jeff Green leaves Wizards for Jazz in latest free agent departure
BUSTED: Trump caught taking $2.5 million from America’s national parks, to pay for his Fourth of July military show
Kentucky Fire Threatens 45,000 Barrels of Jim Beam Bourbon
Instagram down: Social networking site not working for users, Server status latest
One of Iran's Last F-14A Tomcats Just Crashed
Trump Revamps July 4 With Speech, Fighter Jets, Military Tanks
Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher Found Not Guilty of Murdering Teen ISIS Prisoner
Kamala Harris Thinks That Busing in 2019 Would Be a Good Idea — Seriously
Major NRA donor to lead rebellion gunning for ‘radioactive’ leader Wayne LaPierre
Why America Fears (And Would Try to Kill) Iran's F-14 Tomcats In a War
Texas migrant detention facilities 'dangerously overcrowded' – US government report
Trump erupts after Supreme Court rejects 2020 census citizenship question: 'USA! USA! USA!'
Hong Kong protests and China's tightening grip rattle business community
Police reports shed light on rape probe at Phoenix facility
Nike pulls sneaker after Kaepernick objection, prompting Republican fury
Alert level increased at world's largest volcano in Hawaii
Japan whale restaurants cheer hunt resumption
Man pours water on Baidu CEO at AI conference
Iran to exceed uranium enrichment limit from Sunday: Rouhani
Lagerfeld lives on in Chanel Paris haute couture show
Japanese whalers bring catches ashore after first commercial hunt for three decades
Twenty Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Marianne Williamson
What everyone can learn from the $300 million deal that Taylor Swift claims ‘stripped me of my life’s work’
At least 40 killed after airstrike targets migrant center in Libya
Paul Jubb emerges from Joao Sousa defeat with pride intact after battling Wimbledon debut
Fox News hosts admits they would have criticised North Korea visit by Obama
Auto industry legend Lee Iacocca dies at 94
Canada knocked out by Haiti in Gold Cup quarterfinals
Pregnant Kelly Mary Fauvrelle Murder: Detectives Release CCTV Of Running Man
Obesity rivals smoking as cause of cancer, UK charity warns
Timeline: 'Sewing Circle' to murder case against Navy SEAL
Lagerfeld successor brings demure librarians to Chanel catwalk
Hong Kong protests: Chinese state media cover demonstrations for first time after month of censorship
'Difficulties on the road to AI': man pours water on Baidu chief at conference
Taiwan leader plans US stopover on diplomatic tour
Jury to decide SEAL's punishment for posing with corpse
Strong Model 3 demand helped Tesla set a new all-time record for quarterly deliveries
Joe Biden's backing drops by third in new polls after debate clash with Kamala Harris
Tucker Carlson Defends Don Jr. for Retweeting Birther-Style Kamala Harris Smear
Mexico deports 33% more migrants after deal with US
Bernie Sanders raises $18 million in second quarter for 2020 bid, trails Buttigieg
The Latest: Hong Kong leader condemns protest in legislature
Hong Kong protest demands: drop extradition, free arrested
North Korea Economic Crisis Looms on Sanctions, Think Tank Says
Iran's breach of uranium limits complicates nuclear deal
EU summit suspended amid 'enormous frustration' over jobs stalemate
Harris surges, Biden slips after debates: polls
Venezuela: widow of 'tortured' navy captain demands UN investigation
House Democrats Sue Treasury, IRS Head for Trump Tax Returns
AOC denounces ICE as 'rogue agency' after visit to 'unsafe' child detention centre
Federal Inspectors Release Photos to Blast DHS for ‘Dangerous’ Overcrowding at Border Facilities
Pompeo vows support for Venezuela's Guaido ahead of march
European powers won't trigger Iran deal dispute mechanism for now: diplomats
Can't Touch This: Iran's Anti-Aircraft Missiles Won't Hurt the F-35
Top US official to meet Salvadoran, Honduran leaders on migration
US Navy SEAL found not guilty of murder in war crimes trial
China Fears A Soviet-Style Collapse in Hong Kong
Take the Spotlight Off North Korea
Chinese State Media Seizes on Hong Kong Chaos, Defends Police
U.S. Navy SEAL acquitted of murder in war crimes trial
First whales caught as Japan resumes commercial hunt after 30 years
Shocking photos show migrants in cramped and unsanitary facilities
Man who claimed to have protected students during school shooting revealed to be a hoax
'Dangerous overcrowding' decried at Texas migrant detention centers
Hungary passes controversial science sector reform bill
The Latest: 4 family members among Texas plane crash victims
Church steps in to host LGBT+ prom after library cancels in face of backlash
Europeans urge Iran to abide by nuclear pact; Israel says preparing military
Biden Support Shrinks in Second Post-Debate Poll as Harris Rises
Kylie Jenner says being a mother made her respect Kris much more
China slams Trump's 'gross interference' in Hong Kong
Silver Frost 1966 Ford Mustang Fastback Will Send Chills Down Your Back
U.S. Navy SEAL acquitted of most serious charges in war crimes trial
Trump news: Congress files tax return lawsuit as president rages against Robert Mueller and insists military leaders 'thrilled' to take part in 4th of July tank display
Mexico buses home dozens of asylum seekers returned by US
Tesla stock surges after setting new delivery and production records
2020 Census Won’t Have Citizenship Question as Trump Administration Drops Effort
US duty free magnates fund controversial Israeli settlements
Harris surges, Biden slips after debate: new poll
‘Midsommar’ Review: Building a Horror Møusetrap With Swedish Bait
Love Island Results: Amber Left Single After Michael Recouples With Joanna
England Knocked Out Of Women's World Cup After Defeat To USA In Semi-Final
Trump administration charging undocumented immigrants $500,000 ahead of planned mass raids
Navy SEAL acquitted of murder in killing of captive in Iraq
There Are 500,000 U.S. Citizens Living in Mexico
Government photos show detained migrants pleading for help
Xi urged Trump to ease North Korea sanctions in 'timely' fashion
800-Horsepower 1968 Plymouth GTX Is Big, Bad, And Pink
Iran trying to 'blackmail' world by violating nuclear deal: Netanyahu
As U.S. Forces Gather Near Iran (Think F-22s and F-35s), Russia Jams Their GPS
Mike Pence abruptly returns to White House as reports of ‘emergency’ situation spark online misinformation
Christine Lagarde continues to break glass ceilings
Carrie Lam: Hong Kong's divisive, pro-Beijing leader
Jury reviews testimony on knife in Navy SEAL murder case
US Border Patrol chief responds to lewd officer Facebook group, after reports of 'hostility' from members of congress
Mom who tried to kill baby held in his death 11 years later
Secret Service agent who served president dies in tragic accident
Virginia Beach worker charged; won't return to crime scene
Iran Risks Rift With Europe by Breaching Nuclear Deal Limit
Can China Track and Shoot Down the F-22?
Hong Kong grapples with protest aftermath as China demands criminal probe
NASA tests abort system for spacecraft that will carry humans to the moon in 2024
Khloé Kardashian gets reminded of weight struggles after calling Jordyn Woods 'fat'
Prince Harry Ignoring Meghan Markle at a Baseball Game Prove Royals Are as Awkward as Us
Miley Cyrus wears vagina dentata catsuit in 'Mother's Daughter' video
Apex Legends Season 2 Battle Charge: New weapons, characters and game modes come to battle royale sensation in latest update
Women's Ashes: Ellyse Perry out after 'wonderful glovework' by Sarah Taylor
Tanguy Ndombele signs six-year Tottenham deal to seal 55m move
WNBA Player Sue Bird Defended Her Girlfriend Megan Rapinoe After Trump Came After The Soccer Star
Automakers report dip in US sales through midyear
Watch the first trailer for Rian Johnson's star-studded murder-mystery Knives Out
Why the Glock 42 Is One Tough (But Small) Gun
Booker Vows to ‘Virtually Eliminate Immigration Detention,’ Expand Asylum Program
Salvadoran President on Death of Drowned Father and Daughter: ‘It Is Our Fault’
Ivanka’s North Korea Photobombs Perplex White House Officials
LAPD opens internal affairs inquiry in Nipsey Hussle case
Jury resumes deliberations in U.S. Navy SEAL's war crimes trial
‘Fox Friends’ Host: Overcrowded Detention Camps Just Like House Party With Too Many People
Trump returns to critics after historic N.Korea stop
Facebook will ban ads that tell people in U.S. not to vote
A Pilot's Incredible Tale of the Iran-Iraq War
Close