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Iraq's Hashd al-Shaabi names new deputy leader

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

By Ibrahim Saleh

BAGHDAD (AA) - 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.

source: News Feed
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