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.