On 22nd October, the Washington Institute published a Policywatch document saying that, as new protests and further government crackdowns loom in Iraq, Washington should call out abuses by Iran-backed entities and sanction the key offenders. It claims that a cabal of Iran-backed militia and security officials worked with Iranian advisors to design this tougher approach, which included assassinations, sniper fire, drone attacks, intimidation, illegal detentions, and Internet blackouts. It details some of the actions taken, and argues that the US should expose and sanction these officials for attacking civilians — not just junior officers, and not only to punish past crimes, but also to deter further abuses as new protests loom following the religious festival of Arbain. It identifies a group of Iraqi militia and security leaders joined with officers from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to form a crisis cell in Baghdad, and whom presumably the author feels should be subject to sanctions.
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