first published on February 12, 2018 by Will
Video from Iraq shows an Islamic State armored bomb truck rapidly closing on an Iraqi PMU front line fighting position.
The Shia fighters of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU) frantically fire at the quickly approaching ISIS suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) with small arms, heavy machine guns, and rocket propelled grenades (RPG).
Just as the heavily armored bomb truck is nearing catastrophic proximity, what appears to be an RPG whizzes out from the berm and connects firmly with the mobile explosive, detonating it instantly into a massive eruption of fire and deadly debris.
It’s possible that the munition responsible for blowing the ISIS weapon may have been some sort of heavy machine gun, but was most likely an RPG.
The PMU is made up of 60 to 70 militia groups, totaling approximately 140,000 fighters that are mostly Shia Muslims loyal to Iran. Now that the Islamic State has been officially defeated in Iraq… what will their role be in the future of the nation?
If you look back to the end of OIF, but prior to the rise of ISIS, you will see the sectarian climate that made Iraq the perfect environment for Sunni extremists. The Shias ran the government, and they kept the governance of Iraq exclusively Shia.
The Sunni citizens in places like Mosul and the Sunni triangle cities initially welcomed and applauded the reign of the Islamic State. They had had enough of the extortion and abuse they received at the hands of Iraq’s Shia troops and government. They had no representation up until that point.
With the success of the PMU against ISIS in Iraq, these Shia organizations only stand to gain more power and influence in the future, whether that be in the political arena or as a legitimized military force whose strings are pulled by Iran. With that being the case, we are likely to see perpetual unrest and sectarian insurgencies in the future. ISIS may have been defeated, but the conditions that made ISIS possible haven’t changed.