The profile of Iran’s Major general Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US airstrike killed in Baghdad on Friday, overshadowed the death of another victim, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The latter was an Iraqi militia leader, one of Iran’s top lieutenants in Iraq and a veteran of battles against the United States and the Islamic state. According to the New York Times, the death of Al-Muhandis alone would have sent shockwaves through Iraq, even if Soleimani had not died with him.
Al-Muhandis, who was in his mid 60’s, was born Jamaal Jaffar Ibrahmi. He was the deputy commander of Iraq’s, popular mobilisation of forces, an umbrella body of paramilitary groups. It is a loose coalition, which immediately came to help Iraq defeat the Islamic state, but which has since become an extremely powerful group, with its members often operating on behalf of Iran.
Al-Muhandis was also a founder of the militia involved in a conflict with the US over the last week, including an attack on the US embassy in Baghdad.