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Iran-Backed Iraqi Shiite Militias “Just as Brutal” as ISIS

The Associated Press (AP) reported today [1] that Shiite militias in Iraq are proving to be “just as brutal as that of their sworn sectarian enemies,” the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

In a grisly video recently posted online, a Shiite fighter shouts the name of a revered imam in victory as he poses beside decapitated bodies. Another militiaman sits nearby, grinning as he maims a corpse.

One bearded militiaman explains the bodies are those of fighters who “killed our comrades.” Another man shouts, “Our fighters were good guys. These are dogs.”

Last week, the AP reported [2] that Shiite militias, backed by Hezbollah as well as Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, “have abducted and killed scores of Sunni civilians with the tacit support of the Iraqi government.” Iran’s support of Shiite militias in Iraq contributed the violence that, according to the United Nations, claimed more than 5,500 lives from June until October of this year [3].

In ISIS: Can the West Win Without a Ground Game? [4], which was published in the October 2014 issue of The Tower Magazine, Jonathan Spyer cautioned that, given Iran’s influence in Syria and Iraq, there could be a high price to pay for defeating ISIS.

Following intensive Western bombing, the possibility of the Islamic State eventually being sandwiched between pro-Iranian forces on either side before being destroyed would be a real one. This would achieve the desired goal of destroying the jihadi entity, but it could end up handing a major victory to the Assad regime and its Iranian backers—enemies of the West of significantly greater potency and seriousness than the Islamic State itself.

[Photo: WochitGeneralNews / YouTube [5] ]