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Militias target again Iraq’s intelligence service

Since Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi took office in mid-2020, extremist Shiite militias have been trying to undermine the National Intelligence Service, which he has been heading since 2016.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi (C) joins mourners as they accompany the casket of the late Iraqi poet Muzaffar al-Nawab through the streets during his funeral procession, Baghdad, Iraq, May 21, 2022.

In a scenario reminiscent of events in 2020, Iraqi media outlets close to raqi factions and parties loyal to Tehran have been trying in the past few days to accuse the Iraqi National Intelligence Service of participating in the assassination of the Iranian Quds Force commander Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) deputy head Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

This time, these media outlets close to Tehran exploited a TV interview by former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with Al-Arabiya channel last week, in which he touched on the US operation near Baghdad airport in early 2020 that killed Soleimani and Muhandis. Pompeo had asserted in the interview that the operation was purely American with no Iraqi involvement. But these media outlets, hostile to Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, labeled his statements as new "evidence" that Iraqi parties were involved in the operation.

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