situation report

Iraq: Popular Mobilization Forces to Establish Air Force Directorate, Official Says

1 MIN READSep 5, 2019 | 18:47 GMT

What Happened: Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces will establish an air force directorate, according to the group's deputy head, NAS News reported Sept. 4.

Why It Matters: Establishing an air force in Iraq separate from the federal government's military branch would underscore the Popular Mobilization Forces' defiance against the Iraqi government. The announcement comes after a series of suspicious explosions at the militia's facilities across the country in recent weeks that some group officials blamed on the Israeli government.

Background: Many of the militia's units receive Iranian backing and financing, and the militias already have their own parallel command-and-control structure separate from the Iraqi military, although Baghdad has recently been attempting to rein in the group and increase the government's control.

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