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Old 03-21-2017   #101
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Security report for 2nd week of March in Iraq.
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Old 03-22-2017   #102
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Day 153-54 in Mosul Campaign.
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Old 03-23-2017   #103
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Day 155 of Mosul Campaign.
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Old 03-24-2017   #104
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Day 156 of Mosul Campaign.
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Old 03-25-2017   #105
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Day 157 of Mosul Campaign.
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Old 03-26-2017   #106
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Day 158 of Mosul campaign.
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Old 03-27-2017   #107
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Day 159 of Mosul campaign.
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Old 03-28-2017   #108
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Day 162 of Mosul Campaign.
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Old 03-29-2017   #109
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Mosul campaign Day 163
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Old 03-30-2017   #110
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Weekly security report for Iraq. The only comprehensive casualty report left.
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Old 03-31-2017   #111
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Day 164-65 of Mosul Campaign.
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Old 04-01-2017   #112
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Security report for Iraq March 22-28.
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Old 04-02-2017   #113
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Mosul Campaign Day 166-167
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Old 04-03-2017   #114
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Day 168 of Mosul Campaign.
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Old 04-04-2017   #115
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Day 169 of Mosul campaign.
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Old 04-04-2017   #116
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Default The Popular Mobilisation Units

Taken from an IISS Strategic Comment (behind a pay wall), with my emphasis:
Quote:
The Hashd al-Shaabi or Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU) arose in response to a fatwa by Sistani prompted by the fall of Mosul to ISIS in 2014. Sistani declared that 'whoever of you sacrifices himself to defend his country and his family and their honour will be a martyr'. PMU fighters number between 60,000 and 100,000 and are contributing 35,000 of the 90,000 fighters involved in the Iraqi government's current effort to retake Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, from ISIS. In November 2016, the Iraqi government accorded them official status as part of Iraq's security forces. Sunni Arab politicians characterised this development as evidence of Shia 'dictatorship' in Iraq that could increase extrajudicial killings and military brutality, weaken the Iraqi military establishment and deepen national sectarian divisions. In February, video footage emerged of Shia militiamen and Iraqi soldiers beating and executing civilians in east Mosul, and Amnesty International documented PMU atrocities in Fallujah in 2016. While the PMU consider themselves a religious movement of Iraqi national liberation, the Western media tend to describe them more calmly as an Iran-backed coalition of Shia militias. Officials and media of Gulf Sunni Arab countries regard them as an Iran-backed terrorist organisation. None of these three characterisations is altogether accurate, mainly because the PMU are heterogeneous. About half of the PMU are pre-existing militias, and about half are new outfits mustered by Sistani or other Iraqi politicians. Iran funds, supports and operationally supervises four of the largest groups in the PMU: Kata’ib Hizbullah, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada and the Badr Organisation. The PMU also include the Peace Brigades, a group aligned behind firebrand Iraqi Shia cleric and politician Muqtada al-Sadr. Iraq’s holy shrines, controlled by Sistani, established three of the best-trained and equipped groups of the PMU: the Imam Ali Brigade, Ali al-Akhbar Brigade and Abbas Division. Their officers are nationalists aligned with the Iraqi government, and the Abbas Division was actually trained by Iraqi special forces. But Sistani’s religious authority gives him countervailing authority over these units, which, when he decides to exercise it, could have significant political consequences. Sistani’s disenchantment with former prime minister Nuri al-Maliki forced him from office. The PMU also now nominally include some Sunni tribal fighters and Christian militias.
Some PMU groups also receive money and military support from Iran's Quds Force, the covert expeditionary element of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Many Iranians see Quds Force commander General Qassem Suleimani as a protector of Iran against the influence of ISIS and encroachment from Iraq and Syria. In mainstream Iranian political discourse, Iranian involvement in regional conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen is justified as the forward engagement of ISIS and al-Qaeda before they reach Iranian territory.
Link:http://www.iiss.org/en/publications/...s-in-iraq-59bf
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Old 04-05-2017   #117
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I interviewed Amnesty International's Donatella Rovera about the civilian toll in the fighting in Mosul.
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Old 04-06-2017   #118
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Day 170-171 in Mosul campaign.
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Old 04-08-2017   #119
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Day 172-173 of Mosul Campaign.
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Old 04-09-2017   #120
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Monthly casualty report for March 2017 in Iraq. 6,732 dead and wounded reported. Highest figure since December 2016.
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