Jan 8, 2021
The US Treasury Department introduced sanctions at the moment in opposition to Falih al-Fayadh, the chair of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (identified variously as Hashd al-Shaabi, PMU and PMC), for his alleged position in violent repression of anti-corruption protests in 2019.
“During protests beginning in October 2019, Iran-aligned PMC forces attacked Iraqi civilians protesting against corruption, unemployment, economic stagnation, poor public services and Iranian interference in Iraq’s domestic affairs,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned in a press launch.
Fayadh “was the head of the PMC when its forces fired live ammunition at protesters resulting in the deaths of Iraqi civilians,” Pompeo mentioned.
In a separate assertion, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin accused Fayadh of “directing and supervising the murder of peaceful Iraqi demonstrators” and “waging a violent campaign against Iraqi democracy and civil society.”
Fayadh has been sanctioned underneath an government order constructing on the Global Magnitsky Act, which permits the United States to sanction figures overseas accused of human rights abuses.
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The Iraqi official, who served as nationwide safety adviser to former Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and present Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, is essentially the most influential Shiite Iraqi official ever sanctioned by the United States.
Kadhimi changed Fayadh as head of the nation’s National Security Agency in July 2020 amid a US-backed push to isolate the affect of the PMU and Iran-linked figures, however he has remained chair of the PMU.
On Friday the United States accused Fayadh of being a member of “crisis cells” supported by the elite Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, together with Qais al-Khazali and Hussein Falah al-Lami, each of whom had been beforehand sanctioned.
Last yr the Trump administration slapped a terrorist designation on Khazali, who based the Iran-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haqq and performed a number one position within the violent insurgency in opposition to the US occupation of Iraq.
The US navy killed former Quds Force commander Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike exterior Baghdad International Airport final January together with the de facto head of the PMU, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.