Iraq's Kataeb Hezbollah-linked militia hold military parade in Baghdad

Iraq's Kataeb Hezbollah-linked militia hold military parade in Baghdad as state security watch on
2 min read
25 March, 2021
An Iraqi militia called Rubu’ Allah organised a military parade in central Baghdad.
Iraqi security were accused of standing idly [Getty]
An Iraqi Shia militia, which calls itself Rubu' Allah, organised an armed parade on Thursday with displays of its fighters and weaponry in the centre of Baghdad, as state security stood idly by.

The militia, which is one of the fronts of Kataib Hezbollah - also known as Iraqi Hezbollah - held the parade in Baghdad with heavy vehicles carrying rocket launchers among other military equipment.

State security forces stood and watched without intervening while the streets were at a standstill as the parade took place, witnesses told The New Arab's Arabic language service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

Shops were not able to open and businesses were halted.

The group made speeches honouring "martyrs" and threatening the state.

"We salute the arms of the mujahideen and their rifles that roamed the land of the capital, Baghdad, this day in a message of threat to America and their regional agents," Rubu' Allah said in a statement, as circulated by local media. 

"We give reassurance and strength to the martyrs and mujahideen who have come from this dear country, and we applaud the honourable members of the house of representatives," they said. 

The statement warned political parties who "deliberately obstruct the approval of the financial budget in order to obtain their own gains".

It also warned against handing over the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) share of the financial budget.

Read also: Iraq’s spy agency blasts militia leader for 'unpatriotic' UAE takeover claim

"We will not remain silent for long if the people's demands, especially the people of the southern governorates are not fulfilled in this budget," the statement added.

Locals circulated pictures and videos showing dozens of cars loaded with armed men roaming Karrada, Al-Jadriya, Al-Dora, Muhammad Al-Qasim Road areas and near the interior ministry.

Along with weapons, fighters carried banners threatening Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and Lieutenant General Ahmed Abu Ragheef, an interior ministry official in charge of government-commissioned corruption cases.

Neither the Iraqi government nor the security services have commented on these developments.

A security source from Baghdad told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the parade was a show of strength by the group.

"The militia of Rubu' Allah demonstrated with various weapons, and claimed that it was demonstrating for popular demands, but this was a political move dressed up as a popular movement," the source said.

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