EAGLES IN PIGEON’S CLOTHING: USE OF EXPLOSIVE- LADEN DRONES BY SHIA MILITIAS IN IRAQ


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By Lieutenant Colonel Jose M Rufas, Chief of Attack the Networks Branch, C-IED Centre of Excellence

 

As a final result from the Parliamentary elections as held in Iraq on October 10th 2021, the “Sadrist Movement” strongly consolidated their winning, while the “Fatah Alliance” (in fact composed of the most relevant groups1 of Popular Mobilization Forces or “Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi”) passed from 48 to 17 representatives.

One of the first consequences of that loss of political influence by the Iranian-backed militias in Iraq was the promotion and conduct of street demonstrations against the Iraqi government on 5th November 2021, where participants were complaining of a potential fraud in the elections.

As soon as the protests reached the International Area of Baghdad, security forces reacted causing injuries to several persons, along with killing one protestor.

Telegram accounts connected to Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) and Kataib Hezbollah (KH) blamed Prime Minister Kadhimi (along with military commanders Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi and Hamid al-Zuhairi) for the violence against protestors: it was reinforced by the public declarations of the leader of AAH, Qais al-Khazali, who directly blamed and threatened the Prime Minister…

A second order effect coming from the increase of verbal and propagandistic pressure on the Iraqi government by Shia militias was evidenced during the night on November 7th 2021, when the residence of the Prime Minister was struck by two explosive-laden quadcopter drones.

Counter UAS Network online – January 2022


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