Pentagon unhappy over Shiite codename for fight against ISIS

Shiite popular mobilisation front currently fighting to recapture Ramadi in Iraq’s Anbar province choses controversial codename for operation

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The Pentagon has expressed concern over the name Shiite militias have opted to give their operation to recapture Ramadi from ISIS.

“Labaik Ya Hussain” was the codename the Shiite group chose in reference to the historical character of Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, who is particularly revered by Shiite Muslims in a greater sense.

“Calling the operations Labaik Ya Hussain is unhelpful, We did not expect the loss of control of the Iraqi security forces over the situation. What is happening now is the Iranian backed militias having the upper hand,” said Pentagon spokesperson Steve Warren in a press conference in the US Department of Defense on Tuesday night.

The popular mobilisation forces - consisting predominantly of Shiite militants - announced the new codename before the battle with ISIS to reclaim control over areas in the provinces of Saladin and Anbar.

Shiite militia spokesperson Ahmed Asadi said that thousands of local tribes - which mostly belong to the Sunni community - will take part in such operations, adding that the city of Ramadi, "has become fully surrounded on three sides by the security forces and the popular crowd."

The Pentagon statement has increased concerns mounting in Iraq over the possibility of an outbreak of another sectarian crisis in the country between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, especially in the light of developments in Anbar, the fall of Ramadi to ISIS and the subsequent refusal to allow refugees from Anbar into Baghdad.

TRTWorld and agencies