BAGHDAD — In western Iraq, at Ayn al-Asad air base, US troops are advising and training Iraqi forces. Adjoining the base, units from the Hezbollah Brigades make camp as part of the Popular Mobilization Units. The units, alongside government forces, are fighting the Islamic State (IS), which controls 17% of the country,
In that general context, unconfirmed reports have been circulating in the Iraqi media about rising friction between the Popular Mobilization Units and US troops. Yet, despite these reports remaining in the realm of media hearsay, insiders admit that friction between the two parties seems likely, due to their proximity and the probable convergence of unforeseen future political and military developments that may lead to confrontations between the two.