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US blacklists new leader of Iran-backed Iraqi militia

The successor of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis as leader of the Iran-backed Iraqi militia Kataib Hezbollah has been designated as a global terrorist by the United States.
Kataib Hezbollah Iraqi militia gather ahead of the funeral of the Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, in Baghdad, Iraq, January 4, 2020. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani - RC2V8E98XQZT

WASHINGTON — The State Department today announced the designation of Ahmad al-Hamidawi, the leader of the Iranian-backed Iraqi militia group Kataib Hezbollah, as a global terrorist a day ahead of the expected confidence vote by Iraq’s parliament on a new government.

The Iraqi militia group, which is a part of the Iraqi government-backed Popular Mobilization Units, has been designated as a global terrorist group by the United States since 2009. The United States killed Kataib Hezbollah leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a Jan. 3 drone strike at Baghdad International Airport that targeted and also killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani.

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