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Iraqi militias form of one of the biggest political coalitions for elections

Mina Aldroubi writes for The National:

Iraq’s paramilitary militias announced the establishment of one of the biggest political blocs to run in the country’s upcoming general elections as the registration of electoral coalitions closed on Thursday.

“The establishment of Al Fatih coalition comprises of Al Badr Organisation, Asaib Ahl Al Haq, Harakat Hizbollah Al Nujaba and others,” said Hadi Al Ameri, leader of Al Badr Organisation.

The militias are part of the Hashed Al Shaabi, also known as the Popular Mobilisation Units or Popular Mobilisation Forces, which was formed in 2014 after after Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani, Iraq's top Shiite cleric, urged citizens to take up arms against ISIL militants who had swept aside government forces and seized control of much of northern Iraq. Its component militias are mostly trained and supported by Iran and remain deeply divisive, with some accused of abuses against civilians.

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