The hemorrhaging of the government budget reliant on oil will force dramatic cuts in spending or dangerous increases in borrowing, Not only is fighting ISIS an expensive endeavor, but many of the political deals that need to be done to keep different groups supportive of the Iraqi government require money to sustain.
[April 30 Qais Khazali, Shi’ite militia leader in Anbar, imprisoned ‘extensively questioned’ by U.S. in 2007]
Qais al-Khazali, leader of the Shiite militia Asaib Ahl al-Haq (The League of the Righteous), looks on as he stands in the area of Albu Ajil, east of the northern city of Tikrit on March 7, 2015, during a military operation to retake the Tikrit area. Iraq
Qais Khazali commands the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), Arabic: عصائب أهل الحق, “League of the Righteous,” an Iranian-funded Shi’ite militia. One of the key figures participating in the fight against the so-called Islamic State group in Iraq is a Shi’ite militant who less than a decade ago helped coordinate a brazen attack on U.S. troops that left five American soldiers dead.
Qais Khazali commands the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), Arabic: عصائب أهل الحق, “League of the Righteous,” an Iranian-funded Shi’ite militia, which, along with other Shi’ite militias, is playing a powerful role in helping turn the tide against the Islamic State group in Iraq. In January 2007,about a dozen AAH fighters attacked a government compound at Karbala, killing five U.S. soldiers.The attackers wore American military uniforms and badges, carried American weapons and drove in black SUVs identical to those used by the U.S. military. Khazali was later captured and detained at the American prison known as Camp Cropper. He was extensively questioned by U.S. intelligence. Khazali was released in late 2009 along with other AAH members in what appeared to be an exchange for British hostage Peter Moore, though the U.S. and Britain have denied making any deal.
Some Anbar tribal figures fighting on the government side against Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, now have issued calls in recent days for Baghdad to send militia, organized under the umbrella of “Hashid Shaabi” – “Popular Mobilisation”, Al-Jaysh al-Sha’bi (Arabic: الجيش الشعبي) to their aid.
“We must recognize that it will be too difficult for tribal fighters and security forces to defeat IS in Anbar,” said Sheikh Ahmed al-Assafi, who commands a group of tribesmen fighting the militants and who met Shi’ite militia commander Qais al-Khazali to discuss the participation of the Hashid Shaabi in Anbar.
But others say this would be a dangerous mistake, provoking tribesmen to rally behind Islamic State, which presents itself as a defender against Shi’ite militiamen responsible for atrocities