With elections approaching, it is also important to watch for the electoral gains of the political organizations affiliated with the militias. Their political strategies and security strategies are likely linked at a national level, such that gaining influence among local Shi’a communities facing a security threat from ISIS holds electoral promise.
Political actors may gain more support from Shi’a populations this way, also potentially discouraging Sunni populations in mixed areas from voting, where the real or perceived threat of Shi’a militia mobilization is a factor.
The ability to promise protection may be a decisive factor among competing parties on the final approach to elections.
Recent attacks by ISIS in Diyala have led to the observation of overt Shi’a militia mobilizations. The close proximity of ISIS attacks to areas of Shi’a majority appears to have prompted the militias to mobilize. Moving forward, overt military activities and public appearances, especially armed parades and armed targeting of Sunni areas will be important indicators of this mobilization
The Commander of Baghdad Operations Command, General Abdul-Amir al-Shammari hosted at an AAH event. The banner read “AAH welcomes the honored guests”
To the right, electoral candidate of Badr and the director of its second Karkh office, Abu Sadiq while at a commemoration of a Badr fighter killed in Syria.
It will also be important to observe if ISIS will attempt to instigate mobilizations of the militias by attacking a major shrine of significance for Shi’a in Baghdad or elsewhere.
Police found nine bodies, some bullet-riddled, in several Sunni and Shia districts of Baghdad on Saturday, security officials told the Associated Press news agency.
In the Sunni area of al-Amil in western Baghdad, two people were killed after gunmen in a speeding car opened fire on a group of civilians.