Politics, Middle East

Iraq's Hashd al-Shaabi names new deputy leader

New commander succeeds Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis who was killed in US airstrike alongside Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani

Ibrahim Saleh  | 21.02.2020 - Update : 22.02.2020
Iraq's Hashd al-Shaabi names new deputy leader


Iraq's Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization) forces on Friday named Abdulaziz al-Mohammadawi their new deputy leader.

Al-Mohammadawi succeeds former leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis who was slain in a U.S. airstrike on Jan. 3 which also killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, who was then head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' elite Quds Force.

"The Hashd [al-Shaabi] leaders agreed, during a meeting, to choose commander Abdulaziz al-Mohammadawi, as the chief of staff to succeed al-Muhandis," senior member Abu Ali al-Basri, told state-run TV.

The decision will be approved in the coming days by caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, according to al-Basri.

Al-Mohammadawi is a leading member of the Iran-linked Iraqi Hezbollah group.

The U.S. accuses Hezbollah of firing rockets on the American Embassy in Baghdad and military bases accommodating American soldiers.

Hashd al-Shaabi is an umbrella group of armed Shia factions. Leaders of some of these groups are closely affiliated with Iran. The group has been officially subordinated to the Iraqi military.

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