The Free Iraqi Army
: الجيش العراقي الحر
, Al-Jayš Al-‘Irāqī Al-Ḥurr
) was a Sunni
rebel group formed in the western Sunni
-majority provinces of Iraq
from Iraqi supporters of the Free Syrian Army
rebels fighting in the Syrian Civil War
The group aimed to overthrow the Shia
-dominated government of Iraq,
believing that they would gain support in this from Syria should the rebels be successful in overthrowing Bashar al-Assad
An Iraqi counterterror spokesman denied this, saying that the name is merely being used by al-Qaeda in Iraq
to "attract the support of the Iraqi Sunnis by making use of the strife going on in Syria."
Aside from Anbar Province
, the FIA reportedly had a presence in Fallujah
, along the Syrian border near the town of Al-Qaim
, and in Mosul
in the north of Iraq. A recruiting commander for the group told a reporter from The Daily Star
newspaper in Lebanon that the group was opposed to both Al-Qaeda in Iraq
and their opponents in the Sahwa militia
. The same commander claimed that the group received financial support from cross-border tribal extensions and Sunni sympathizers in the Persian gulf states of Qatar
, Saudi Arabia
, and the UAE
On 4 February 2013, Wathiq al-Batat of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah in Iraq
, announced the formation of the Mukhtar Army
to fight against al-Qaeda and the Free Iraqi Army.
In August 2014, the group became defunct, after a large offensive
by ISIL in northern Iraq, with activity on their websites ceasing.
Links to al-Qaeda and the Iraqi Ba'athists Despite the group's denial of links to al-Qaeda, the group had been accused of being affiliated with the group.
These accusations of links with both al-Qaeda and the Ba'athists led to a Najaf Shiite figure associated with the State of Law Coalition issuing a fatwa against supplying the group with weapons.
- ^ http://www.alhayat.com/article/1608238/الجيش-العراقي-الحر-في-الإعلام-nbsp[permanent dead link]
- ^ "How Syria's civil war is spilling over". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
- ^ http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Nov-10/194594-free-iraqi-army-inspired-by-syria-war.ashx
- ^ "INSIGHT: Iraq's Tensions Heightened by Syria Conflict". Middle East Voices (VOA). 29 November 2012.
- ^ "Syrian Soldiers Killed In Iraq: Reports". RTT News. 4 March 2013.
- ^ a b "Free Iraqi Army inspired by Syria war". The Daily Star (Lebanon). 10 November 2012.
- ^ "Iraqis locked in rival sectarian narratives". BBC News. 21 November 2012.
- ^ "Al-Qaida making comeback in Iraq, officials say". The Guardian. 9 October 2012.
- ^ "Briefing: A guide to defusing sectarian tensions in Iraq". IRIN. 13 February 2013.
- ^ "Syrian War's Spillover Threatens a Fragile Iraq". The New York Times. 26 February 2013.
- ^ عضو في الدفاع النيابية: الجيش العراقي الحر إسم آخر لتنظيم القاعدة (in Arabic). Iraqi Communist Party. 20 December 2012. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
Last edited on 1 March 2021, at 20:47
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