A Human Rights Watch report says that the militias looted, burned thousands of buildings, and abducted at least 11 people during the Amerli offensive last summer. “The widespread burning of civilian homes by the militia groups in areas under their control appeared to have had no clear military objective and to represent collective punishment against residents of local Sunni villages,” HRW stated.
Several Shiite militias, which are supported by the Iranian Qods Force, and the Iraqi Security Forces have taken over several surrounding towns of Tikrit. These militias have published several photos and videos from these towns in recent days.
Shiite militias closely linked to Iran and Qods Force commander Qassem Suleimani have taken control of key towns surrounding the central Iraqi city.
Several photos have been released by the semi-official Iranian news agency Fars showing Qassem Soleimani on the battlefield near Tikrit. Other photos circulating on social media show the leader of the Qods Force with various Shiite militias taking part in the current offensive in central Iraq.
Massive columns of Shiite militas, including some groups that are listed by the US as Foreign Terrorist Organizations, have been leading the fight in Tikrit. Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani has been spotted at the front lines.
The League of the Righteous, a Shiite militia that is responsible for killing hundreds of US soldiers in Iraq between 2006-2011, helped Iraqi forces take control of Baiji. The US provided air support.
The League of the Righteous, which is responsible for killing hundreds of US soldiers, was part of the Iraqi force that liberated Amerli. The group is closely tied to Iran’s Qods Force and three of its leaders are Specially Designated Global terrorists.
Hezbollah, which helped establish Shia terror groups in Iraq beginning in 2005, said that Ibrahim al Hajj, a trainer, was killed while “performing his jihadi duties” in Tal Afar.