Leader of Iranian-Backed Al-Mukhtar Army
Iraq has arrested the leader of an Iranian-backed Shi'ite militia group that claimed responsibility for a mortar bomb attack near a border post in Saudi Arabia in November, Reuters reported today.
Wathiq al-Batat, commander of Iraq's al-Mukhtar Army militia, was arrested at a checkpoint in northeastern Baghdad.
The Al-Mukhtar Army is a relatively new Shi'ite militia, which has said it is supported and funded by Iran’s Quds Force. Batat is a former leader of Iraq's better-known Kata'ib Hezbollah militia, also backed by Iran.
Batat said his militia was behind the six mortar bombs that landed near the border post in northern Saudi Arabia on November 21. There were no casualties, but the attack was a warning to the kingdom to stop meddling in Iraqi affairs, he told Reuters at the time. (Reuters, 2 January)
File photo: Wathiq al-Batat (Asharq Alawsat)