The US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the Chief of Staff of the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq, Abdul Aziz al-Muhammadawi (Abu Fadak), after being classified as a “terrorist”. This comes a week after the imposition of US sanctions on the head of the Popular Mobilization Authority, Faleh al-Fayyad, under the pretext of his connection with human rights violations.
The US State Department said, in a statement late Wednesday, that Abdulaziz Al-Mulla Mujirish Al-Muhammadawi was classified as a global terrorist, and was included in the list of the Executive Order 13,224.
This US executive order is specific to freezing properties and prohibiting dealing with persons who commit, threaten, or support terrorist acts.
Under those sanctions, all Al-Muhammadawi’s property would be confiscated in the United States.
The Foreign Ministry added that Al-Muhammadawi is the former Secretary General of the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades, which is “a terrorist organization designated by the United States and supported by Iran, and that seeks to support Tehran’s malign agenda in the region.”
It added that the Hezbollah Brigades is responsible for IED attacks, missile attacks, sniping, theft of Iraqi state resources, and the killing, kidnapping and torture of peaceful protesters and activists in Iraq.
She added that Al-Muhammadawi worked with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to reconfigure the institutions of the Iraqi state away from its true goal of defending the state and fighting the Islamic State, and “making these institutions serve Iran’s malign activities, including defending the Assad regime in Syria.”
Commenting on the inclusion of al-Muhammadawi on the US terrorism list, the Information Directorate of the Popular Mobilization Authority tweeted the blessing of the Chief of Staff of the crowd, considering that America usually targets leaders who are fighting global terrorism.
Bless #The popular crowd To the brave leader #AbuFadak Al-Muhammadawi was included on America’s blacklist that was targeted # Leaders of Victory And it is still targeting all leaders who have contributed to the elimination of global terrorism#Iraq pic.twitter.com/dT7kgJdDxi
Media Directorate – Popular Mobilization Authority (@teamsmediawar) January 13, 2021
In February of last year, the Popular Mobilization Authority announced al-Muhammadawi as the chief of the staff of the organization, succeeding Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was assassinated by the United States accompanied by the Iranian Quds Force commander, Qassem Soleimani, in an air bombardment in January 2020 near Baghdad International Airport.
Washington accuses factions in the Popular Mobilization Forces, close to Tehran, of launching attacks on the US embassy in Baghdad, and targeting American soldiers in military bases across Iraq.
On January 7, Washington announced the imposition of sanctions against the head of the Popular Mobilization Authority, Faleh al-Fayyad, for his association with human rights violations.
The sanctions included, according to the statement, the confiscation of all his property in the United States, and the banning of any entities that own 50% of their stake, or that he and others own directly or indirectly.
The Popular Mobilization Forces were formed to fight ISIS when it invaded northern and western Iraq in the summer of 2014, and fought battles against the organization alongside the army forces.