Since the Sunni militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took control of Mosul last month, Iraq has also seen an increase in clashes between Shiite militias and Iraqi security forces. In an email interview, Phillip Smyth, a researcher at the University of Maryland, discussed the growing threat of Shiite militias in Iraq.
WPR: What are the major Shiite militias in Iraq today, and what differentiates them from one another?
Phillip Smyth: Major Shiite militias in Iraq can be split into a number of different categories and groups. First among them are the Iranian proxy organizations: Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq, The Badr Organization, Harakat Hizballah al-Nujaba, Kata'ib Hizballah and Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada. There are smaller and newer organizations being created, but they do not have the same presence as these other five groups, which have combat experience in Syria and are reportedly engaged on most of the fronts in Iraq where there has been heavy fighting.