first published on July 5, 2018 by Will
A CCTV video out of Iraq’s Anbar province reportedly shows Shia militiamen set up an illegal checkpoint and promptly receive beatdowns by a platoon of Iraqi soldiers.
According to our sources, the militia shown in the video are members of the Mahdi Army, now ironically calling themselves the “Peace Brigades.” They made the mistake of setting up their checkpoint in front of a high-ranking Army officer’s house, who immediately called them in.
The soldiers arrive and the militants initially try to act tough as if they are professional peers. Failing to comply with the army unit, the soldiers quickly escalate the situation to forceful detention through beatdowns. The militants are dragged, beaten, and stuffed into the trunk of a humvee before the video ends.
The Mahdi Army, led by the Iranian-backed Shia cleric Muqtada al Sadr, was notorious for these types of checkpoints during the height of OIF’s sectarian civil war between the Shia and Sunnis. The Mahdi fighters would set up hasty traffic control points and begin extorting the population by stealing from civilians and even killing people just for being Sunni.
This kind of sectarian oppression continued even after OIF, and the Shia exclusive government turned a blind eye. It is this kind of criminal activity that allowed Sunni extremist groups like ISIS to gain support and take hold in Iraq. Muqtada al Sadr was just elected into the Iraqi parliament in a recent election, which only signifies perpetual conflict in Iraq for years to come.