Iraq’s ‘Archangel of Death’ Known for Slaughtering ISIS Fighters Denies War Crime Accusations

Newsweek
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Summary: ” His massive, muscular frame often stands out from his fellow fighters in Kataeb Al-Imam Ali, a majority-Shiite Muslim militia operating under the banner of the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). Abu Azrael, and his comrades in Kataeb Al-Imam Ali said they were operating near the Sinjar mountains west of Mosul just where the Iraqi military, Kurdish forces and a U.S.-led international coalition have advanced against the final jihadist positions in what was once ISIS’ largest city of control. After the ultraconservative Sunni Muslim group conducted mass executions, incarcerations, and implemented other forms of harsh oppression against locals, Abu Azrael was one of over with 100,00 militia fighters to take up arms and force the militants out of key cities, leaving only Mosul and pockets of influence elsewhere. The territory immediately across the border from Kataeb Al-Imam Ali’s positions is controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a U.S.-backed coalition consisting mostly of Kurds but including Arabs, and other ethnic minorities battling ISIS. “After the liberation of Iraq [from ISIS militants], we will ensure that they never return.” “I hope the world has witnessed their crimes against our people, and will support us.” “We are Kataeb Al-Imam Ali and other resistance factions of the Iraqi army and our main target is Daesh and no one else. “We will defend the oppressed people of all sects, protect the country from criminals, chip in the displaced, and get back them to their areas.” “We haven’t entered into Syrian territory but we are still on the Syrian-Iraqi border and we are closing in on Daesh, inflicting bitter losses,” Abu Azrael said via Twitter, using the Arabic-language acronym, for ISIS. Abu Azrael (C), part of the majority-Shiite Muslim Kataeb Al-Imam Ali, is one of over with 100,00 fighters under the umbrella of the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces involved in the battle against the Islamic State militant group. After ISIS is defeated, Abu Azrael said Kataeb Al-Imam Ali, which also reportedly includes some Sunni Muslims, and Yazidis, will work with all communities toward preventing the resurgence of jihadist groups in the country. I don’t believe anyone wants Daesh in the country.” Ayyub Faleh Hassan al-Rubaie’s reputation, for ruthless revenge attacks against Islamic State group militants has earned him international attention, and the nickname “Archangel of Death.” When he was accused of mutilating the body, he assured his loyal supporters he’d confessed his sins to his imam under instructions to “never do such a thing again.” Reports had emerged in recent days claiming PMF forces had already crossed into Syria and had begun digging trenches in preparation for battle.”

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