Iraq paramilitaries freeze Tikrit ops over US strikes

Iraqi forces near Tikrit. Source.

Awja (Iraq) (AFP) – Key groups in Iraq’s paramilitary Popular Mobilisation forces, which have played a leading role in the ongoing assault on Tikrit, are freezing their participation in offensive operations, commanders said Friday.

While the move appeals to Washington, which wants distance from militias accused of human rights abuses, it will also blunt the offensive capabilities of pro-government ground forces in the battle to retake Tikrit from the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.

The United States launched its first air strikes in support of the Tikrit operation on Wednesday, sparking the freeze by militia units in the Popular Mobilisation forces, or Hashad al-Shaabi in Arabic, which had repeatedly voiced opposition to American intervention.

Several commanders from the Badr organisation, a militia whose leader Hadi al-Ameri is a senior figure in the Hashed al-Shaabi, said fighters were pulling back but not out of the operation.

“We consider this a break until the coalition issue is resolved,” one commander, who gave his name as Baqir, told AFP in Awja, just south of Tikrit…

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  • dance…dancetotheradio

    They don’t want to get bombed, too.

  • Air support should have been first and then sweeping up with ground forces.

    This is a plan for failure.

    • The Iraqi/Iranian forces were not making much progress it seemed, this looks like an excuse not to go in.

      • It looks like an excuse not to do their fighting.

        This freeze is disastrous. If the Iraqis don’t want their country back, they had better get used to ISIS.

  • Canadian

    Aw! Come on, you can trust Obola!

  • Norman_In_New_York

    Good on them for creating a stalemate. The more of each other they slaughter, the better off the rest of the world is.

  • canminuteman

    Another example of why the west should withdraw from the middle east entirely and let them kill each other off.
    The ME used to be a concern because we needed their oil. We don’t any more. They all hate us, and if they ever get their shit together they are coming after us next. Best solution is to let hem wallow in their own filth and kill each other off. That way they never get strong enough to come after us, especially if they haven’t got all the money they get from us from oil.

  • Hard Little Machine

    This is textbook Arab/Muslim/Persian ‘solidarity’.