Friday, December 18, 2015

Sistani-backed PMUs recruiting Sunnis in Nukhaib

Interesting cross-sectarian dynamics along the Karbala-Anbar frontier. The Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) that are under the auspices of Ayatollah Sistani (aka the Abbas Division) says they've recruited Anbari men to form a local battalion in the town of Nukhaib. The recruits are said to be Sunni tribesmen who fled the ISIS rampage and sought refuge in the desert town straddling the Anbar-Karbala border. Arming and equipping will reportedly be coordinated with the Defense Ministry.

While an ideal solution would have the government bring these men into the army or state-sanctioned national guard (a dead project, thanks to Maliki and Iran), this is still a positive thing. It's better to have the more benevolent branch of PMU welcome and integrate Sunni tribesmen than have the government ignore them (whether by malice or incompetence) or the IRGC-backed militias mistreat them.

This is a promising example of trust-building measures.

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