Sayyid al Shuhada said it would “strike and destroy” Saudi interests, not just in Iraq, but inside the kingdom. The militia, which operates as part of the Iraqi government, Iran, and the US-backed Popular Mobilization Committee, is led by Abu Mustafa al Sheibani, a dangerous commander who is listed by the US as a global terrorist.
Several Iranian-backed Shiite militia groups continue to operate in Tikrit, despite claims by US government officials that most of these militias had left the battle. The US continues to launch airstrikes to support Iraqi forces and these militias, many leaders of which are responsible for killing US and Coalition servicemen during the Iraq War.
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.