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Iraqi Militia Head Calls US-led Efforts vs. ISIS “Ineffective”

American efforts in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) are “ineffective” according to the leader of a key Iraqi Shiite fighting group that is backed by Iran. In an interview with the Reuters news agency, Qais Al-Khazali, leader of Asaib Ahl Al-Haqq, charged that the United States “does not want to solve the crisis, but rather it seeks to manage the crisis.” According to Al-Khazali, the US “does not want to end ISIS. It wants to exploit ISIS to achieve its projects in Iraq and in the region. The American project in Iraq is to repartition the region.” The Al-Haqq group is one of three units that head the Popular Mobilization forces, the anti-ISIS coalition of volunteer forces sanctioned by the government of Iraq. It is considered to be the most powerful fighting force since the collapse of the Iraqi army a year ago. Al-Khazali charges that the US is trying to limit the presence of Shiite fighters as the battle to re-take Anbar province from ISIS moves ahead. The charge is not unfounded. US policy has long been to avoid sectarian rifts. Al-Khazali told Reuters that there can be no cooperation between his group and the American forces because the US viewed them as the enemy during “the occupation” and his forces don’t trust the Americans.