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02/29/2020 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) has appointed a new deputy commander following the assassination of Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis in the January U.S. drone strike that also killed General Qassem Soleimani. Abu Fadak Al-Mohammedawi was tapped as the next leader late last week.

Abu Fadak, commonly known as al-Khal or “the uncle”, played an active role in the Iraq protests against the U.S. embassy. He now joins the PMF, or Hashid al-Shaabi, which is a predominately Shiite network of paramilitaries and therefore does not report to the Iraqi Defense Ministry.

The PMF also has a heavy presence in the Nineveh region of Iraq, controlling the land since the defeat of ISIS. Most recently in early February, demonstrators in Tel Adas blocked a road in protest against the PMF and to demand their withdrawal.

The PMF, an Iran-backed conglomerate, has been accused of human rights abuses and forcing demographic change by keeping Christians and Yazidis from returning home.

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