Q&A: Deputy Minister for National Security Affairs Akeel al-Saffar

A long-serving Iraq security official discusses the future of the al-Hashid al-Shabi program and outlines a proposal for providing security services to investors.
Q&A: Deputy Minister for National Security Affairs Akeel al-Saffar
Deputy Minister for National Security Affairs Akeel al-Saffar. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)

BEIRUT - After Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani called for Iraqis to volunteer in the fight against the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS), in 2014, the al-Hashid al-Shabi (Popular Mobilization) has become a major force in Iraq's security landscape.

The Hashid organization has become a vehicle through which the Iraqi government organizes, arms, and funds several disparate paramilitary groups. While many of the groups are affiliated with specific political parties, tribes, or other entities, their formal chain of command goes through the Ministry of State for National Security.

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