27 Jun 2014 04:00
Armed Shia fighters from the al-Akida brigade celebrate their graduation after seven days of combat training under guidance of Iranian military advisors. Sheikh Maytham al-Karbalaei, a leader in the brigade stated, “This regiment was trained in the most modern tactics of urban warfare, and how to respond to any sudden attack against the Shiite holy sites.”
The brigade of 2,500 fighters is independent and does not answer to any governmental authority. It is responsible for the protection of al-Ataba al-Abasey shrine and receives its orders from Iraqi-Shia spiritual leader Sheikh Ali al-Sayed al-Sistani.