U.S. designates Iranian-backed militia as terrorist organization

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – The U.S. Department of State designated on Tuesday an Iraqi-based Iranian-backed militia and its leader as global terrorists.

The Department of State announced the designation of Harakat Ansar Allah al-Awfiya (HAAA) and its leader Haydar Muzhir Ma’lak al-Sa’idi as “Specially Designated Global Terrorists.”

In a press statement, the Department of State said the HAAA has repeatedly attacked the forces of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

It added that the HAAA is a component of the “Islamic Resistance in Iraq (IRI)” that is a front group that includes multiple Iranian-backed militias, including U.S.-designated terrorist organizations Kata’ib Hizballah, Harakat al-Nujaba, and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada.

“The IRI has claimed responsibility for dozens of recent attacks against U.S. military personnel in Iraq and Syria, including the January drone attack that killed three U.S. service members at Tower 22 in Jordan,” the statement read. 

It indicated that the HAAA was involved in the Jordan attack, and “has publicly threatened to continue attacking U.S. interests in the region.”

By Jwan Shekaki