- Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq
Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq Participant in the Iraq War Active July 2006 - Present Leaders Qais al-Khazali
Headquarters Sadr City, Baghdad Area of
Mainly Baghdad and Southern Iraq; also active in Iraq's Central regions. Strength 3,000 (March 2007) Part of Special Groups Originated as Mahdi Army Allies Kata'ib Hezbollah, Promised Day Brigades, Other Special Groups Opponents United States and Coalition Battles/wars Iraq War:
Karbala provincial headquarters raid, Operation Together Forward, Siege of Sadr City, Siege of U.K. bases in Basra, Iraq spring fighting of 2008, Battle of Basra (2008)
Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) (Arabic: عصائب أهل الحق, English: League of the Righteous) also known as the Khazali Network and previously known as Ahl al-Kahf (English: The People of the Cave) is a Shi'a Insurgent group in Iraq and is known as the country's largest Special Group. Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq is alleged to receive Iranian funding and have links to the Iranian Quds Force. The group has claimed responsibility for over 6,000 attacks on US, Coalition and Iraqi Forces.
The groups strength was estimated at some 3,000 fighters in March 2007. In July 2011, however, officials estimated there were less than 1,000 Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq militiamen left in Iraq. The group is alleged to receive some $5 million worth of cash and weapons every month from Iran.
Qais al-Khazali split from Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army after Shi'a uprising in 2004 to create his own Khazali network. When the Mahdi Army signed a cease-fire with the government and the Americans and the fighting stopped, Qais al-Khazali's faction continued fighting, during the battle Khazali was already issuing his own orders to militiamen without Muqtada al-Sadr's approval. The group's leadership which includes Qais Khazali, Abd al-Hadi al-Darraji (a politician in Muqtada al-Sadr's Sadr Movement) and Akram al-Kabi, however, reconciled with Muqtada al-Sadr in mid-2005. In July 2006 Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq was founded and became one of the Special Groups which operated more independently from the rest of the Mahdi Army. It became a completely independent organisation after the Mahdi Army's disbanding after the 2008 Shi'a uprising. In November 2008 when Sadr created a new group to succeeded the Mahdi Army, named the Promised Day Brigades he Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq (and other Special Groups) to join, however they declined.
The group has claimed responsibility for over 6,000 attacks including the October 10, 2006 attack on Camp Falcon, the assassination of the American military commander in Najaf, the May 6, 2006 downing of a British Lynx helicopter and the October 3, 2007 attack on the Polish ambassador. Their most known attack however, is the January 20, 2007 Karbala provincial headquarters raid where they infiltrated the US army's headquarters in Karbala, killed 1 soldier, then abducted and killed 4 more US soldiers. After the raid, the US launched a crackdown on the group and the raid's mastermind Azhar al-Dulaimi was killed in Baghdad, while much of the group's leadership including the brothers Qais and Laith al-Khazali and Lebanese Hezbollah member Ali Musa Daqduq who was Khazali's advisor was in charge of their relations with Hezbollah. After these arrests in 2007, Akram al-Kabi who had been the military commander of the Mahdi Army until May 2007, led the organisation. In 2008 many of the groups fighters and leaders fled to Iran after the Iraqi Army was allowed to re-take control of Sadr City and the Mahdi Army was disbanded. Here most fighters were re-trained in new tactics. It resulted in a major lull in the group's activity from May to July 2008.
In February 2010 the group kidnapped US military contractor Issa T. Salomi a US citizen of Iraqi origin. The first high-profile kidnapping of a foreigner in Iraq since the kidnapping of British IT expert Peter Moore and his four bodyguards (which was also done by Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq). The group demanded release of all their fighters being imprisoned by the Iraqi authorities and US military in return for his release. In Peter Moore's case, his four bodyguards were killed but Moore himself was released when the group's leader Qais al-Khazali was released in January 2010. Prior to Qazali's release, security forces had already released over 100 of the group's members including Laith al-Khazali. Salomi was released in March 2010 return for the release of 4 of their fighters, being held in US custody. In total 450 members of the group have been handed over from US to Iraqi custody since the kidnapping of Peter Moore, over 250 of which have been released by the Iraqi authorities.
On July 21, 2010 General Ray Odierno said Iran is supporting three Shiite extremist groups in Iraq that have been attempting to attack US bases, General Ray Odierno, said Wednesday. One of the groups is Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq and the other two are Promise Day Brigade and Ketaib Hezbollah.
In December 2010 it was reported that notorious Shi'a militia commanders such as Abu Deraa and Mustafa al-Sheibani were returning from Iran to work with Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq. Iranian Grand Ayatollah Kazem al-Haeri was identified as the group's spiritual leader.
The Organisation is alleged to receive training and weapons from Iran's Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force as well as Iranian-backed Lebanse group Hezbollah. By March 2007, Iran was providing the network between $750,000 and $3 million in arms and financial support each month. Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani, a former Badr Brigades member who ran an important smuggling network known as the Sheibani Network played a key role in supplying the group. The group was also supplied by a smuggling network headed by Ahmad Sajad al-Gharawi a former Mahdi Army commander, mostly active in Maysan Governorate.
As of 2006 Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq had at least four major operational branches:
- The Imam al-Ali Brigade - Responsible for Southern Iraq (Iraq's 9 Shi'a governorates: Babil, al-Basrah, Dhi Qar, al-Karbala, Maysan, al-Muthanna, an Najaf, al-Qadisiyyah and Wasit Governorates)
- The Imam al-Kazem Brigade - Responsible for West-Baghdad (mainly the Shi'a Kadhimiya and Al Rashid districts but also some minor activity in the mixed Karkh district and the mainly Sunni Mansour district)
- The Imam al-Hadi Brigade - Responsible for East-Baghdad (mainly the Shi'a Thawra, Nissan and Karrada districts but with some minor activity in the mixed Rusafa district and the mainly Sunni Adhamiyah district)
- The Iman al-Askari Brigade - Responsible for Central Iraq (mainly active the Shi'a areas in Southern Diyala, Samarra City (in Salah ad-Din Governorate) and some Shi'a enclaves in Ninawa and Kerkuk Governorates)
- ^ a b Fox News Insurgents Who Killed Five GIs in Brazen Karbala Attack Captured
- ^ http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/04/us_breaks_up_mahdi_a.php
- ^ a b http://www.usf-iraq.com/?option=com_content&task=view&id=729&Itemid=45
- ^ 
- ^ a b c d 
- ^ Iraq’s ‘Promised Day Brigade’ - the reforming of the Shiite Militia
- ^ The People of Righteousness: Iraq’s Shi’a Insurgents Issue Demands for Hostages
- ^ http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=118051§ionid=351020201
- ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/03/qais-al-khazali-cleric-freed-alan-mcmenemy-body
- ^ http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/10/iraqi_police_detain_1.php
- ^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/27/AR2010032703144.html
- ^ Washington Post U.S. failure to neutralize Shiite militia in Iraq threatens to snarl pullout
- ^ http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jCA6iGhsEI3i-z4hAG8Z2Cu4kV3Q
- ^ http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2010/12/23/In-Iraq-Irans-Special-Groups-to-flourish/UPI-41341293124172/
- ^ Religious Allegiances among Pro-Iranian Special Groups in Iraq
- ^ Iran's Hard Power Influence in Iraq
- ^ New York Times The Struggle For Iraq
Armed Iraqi Groups in the Iraq War and the Civil war in Iraq Insurgents Now-defunct Baathist rebels and insurgents Military of Iraq and Police Militias and others
- Islamic Army in Iraq (Al-Jaish Al-Islami fil-Iraq)
- Sufi Naqshbandi Iraqis (Naqshabandiya Army)
- Iraqi Islamic Resistance Front (JAAMI Iraqi nationalists)
- Jaish al-Mujahideen
- Mujahideen Battalions of the Salafi Group of Iraq
- Islamic Salafist Boy Scout Battalions (Kataab Ashbal Al Islam Al Salafi)
- Mohammad's Army (aka Jeish Muhammad)
A guerrilla group opposed to the coalition forces, composed primarily of Sunnis believed to have Baathist ties.
- Islamic State of Iraq (till Nov '06, Mujahideen Shura Council)
Umbrella organization and de facto state
- Al Qaeda in Iraq
- Jeish al-Fatiheen (Conquering Army)
- Jund al-Sahaba (Soldiers of the Sahaba)
- Katbiyan Ansar Al-Tawhid wal Sunnah (Brigades of Monotheism and Religious Conservatism)
- Jeish al-Taiifa al-Mansoura (Army of the Victorious Sect)
- Monotheism Supporters Brigades
- Saray al-Jihad Group
- al-Ghuraba Brigades
- al-Ahwal Brigades
- Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad
A now-defunct militant organization led by al-Zarqawi preceding AQI.
- Jamaat Ansar al-Sunna (formerly Jaish Ansar al-Sunna)
- Ansar al-Islam
- Black Banner Organization (ar-Rayat as-Sawda)
- Asaeb Ahl el-Iraq (Factions of the People of Iraq)
- Wakefulness and Holy War
- Abu Theeb's group
- Jaish Abi Baker's group
- Fedayeen Saddam ("Saddam's Men of Sacrifice")
A paramilitary organization loyal to the former Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein.
- The Return (al-Awda)
composed of former Ba'ath Party officials, intelligence agents, former members of the Republican Guard, the Special Republican Guard and Fedayeen Saddam militia.
- General Command of the Armed Forces, Resistance and Liberation in Iraq
- Iraqi Popular Army
- New Return
- Patriotic Front
- Political Media Organ of the Ba‘ath Party (Jihaz al-Iilam al-Siasi lil hizb al-Baath)
- Popular Resistance for the Liberation of Iraq
- Al-Abud Network
- Iraqi Army
The Iraqi Army is a component of the Iraqi Security Forces tasked with assuming responsibility for all Iraqi land-based military operations following the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.
- Iraqi Air Force
- Iraqi Police
The Iraqi Police are the organic civil police force of the Republic of Iraq. There are three main branches.
- Iraqi Police Service (IPS): Responsible for the day to day patrolling of cities around most crimes.
- National Police (NP): Paramilitary force for counterinsurgency, public disorder and counter terrorist tasks.
- Supporting Forces: Remaining police organizations, primarily the Department of Border Enforcement (DBE).
- Facilities Protection Service
A paramilitary force responsible for protecting government buildings and facilities.
- Mahdi Army (Jaish-i-Mahdi)(جيش المهدي)
The Mahdi Army is a militia force created by the Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in June of 2003, disbanded in 2008.
- Abu Deraa's Mahdi Army faction
In the fall of 2006, Abu Deraa and his supporters formed their own militia.
- Badr Organisation (originally Badr Brigade/Bader Corps) (منظمة بدر)
The armed wing of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).
- Sheibani Network
Smuggling network and Insurgent group, which both supplies other insurgents and attacks coalition and Iraqi forces.
- Soldiers of Heaven
an armed Iraqi Shi'a sect.
- Special Groups (Iraq) Iranian backed factions of the Mahdi Army which went on to become separate organisations which continued fighting after the Mahdi Army's disbanding.
- Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous)
The largest Special Group, led by Qais al-Khazali and later Akram al-Kabi.
- Promised Day Brigades
The Special Group which was created as successor of the Mahdi Army and continued activities against US and coalition forces
- Kata'ib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Brigades)
The most notorious Special Group, it became completely independent from the Mahdi Army and other Special Groups.
- Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous)
- Awakening groups
- 1920 Revolution Brigades
- Jaish al-Rashideen
- Islamic Front for the Iraqi Resistance (al-Jabha al-Islamiya lil-Moqawama al-Iraqiya - JAMI)
- Hamas of Iraq
- term used by Kurds to refer to armed Kurdish fighters. The term is now officially used for the security forces of Iraq's Kurdistan Autonomous Region.
- Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK. A militant separatist organization whose goal is the creation of a separate Kurdish state in Turkey. Currently has bases in Iraqi Kurdistan's Qandil mountains.
- Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan or PJAK. A militant separatist organization whose goal is overthrowing the Islamic government of Iran. Currently taking refuge in the Qandil mountains.
- Qaraqosh Protection Committee, an Assyrian Christian self-defence force
- Malik Al-Tawus Troop, a Yezidi self-defence force in northern Iraq
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.