Both Iranian media and media linked to Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces have reported different narratives surrounding the events of a purported explosion at an Iraqi base last week. However, Iranian media has confirmed at least one Iranian was killed at the base.
A Badr fighter also displays an AT4 anti-tank rocket. US equipment that has been supplied to the Iraqi military continues to fall into the hands of Iranian-backed Shiite militias.
US officials and generals continue to downplay the involvement of Iranian-backed Shiite militias in offensives in Iraq, and their dominance of the Popular Mobilization Committee.
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.
Shiite militias closely linked to Iran and Qods Force commander Qassem Suleimani have taken control of key towns surrounding the central Iraqi city.
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 Islamic State continues to showcase the recent fighting near Samarra. Photos show the group’s capture of the Mutassim sub-district southeast of Samarra and fighters overrunning Badr Organization positions between Samarra and Tikrit.