March 12, 2015
Thousands of Iraqi Shiites attended the funeral of Saad Tamimi, the military commander of the Badr Organization in Tikrit who was killed in battle on Wednesday 11 March. The Badr Organization is arguably the most powerful of the Shiite militias who make up the Hashid Shaabi or "Popular Mobilization" umbrella group of militias.
Also in attendance was the Badr military leader in Karbala, Major General Hamed Saheb, also known as Abu Mustapha al-Karbalai'. General Saheb accused Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of working to help the United States, referred to as "the devil", carry out its agenda in Iraq.
The mourners carried the coffin of Tamimi to holy Shiite shrines in Karbala while chanting Shiite slogans.
Analysts and U.S. officials have repeatedly stated their concerns about the sectarianism that is (re)emerging in Iraq. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he is "very concerned" about reports that Iran and Shiite militias are leading the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and exacerbating sectarian strife in that nation.
In a speech to Congress on 3 March, Carter said: "Sectarianism is what brought us to the point where we are, and so I do look at it with concern. We are watching it very closely."
SOUNDBITE: Major General Hamed Saheb, Military Commander of Badr Organization in Karbala (Arabic, Man)
02:59 – 04:51
“I offer condolences to myself, my brothers the mujahideen, and the people of Karbala on the occasion of the martyrdom of this hero from the military wing of Badr Organization. He participated in several operations. Eight days prior to his death, he took part with me in a very difficult operation, during which he marched ahead of my mujahideen brethren, calling: “Martyrdom! Martyrdom!” The day before yesterday, he was martyred in the Salahuddin district while he tried to sweep the area after it was liberated from the criminal gangs, which had entered the land of Imam Hussein, the Commander of the Believers. I congratulate you as well as ourselves for offering an elite of [martyrs] for the sake of the Master of Martyrs [Imam] Abi Abdullah al-Hussein, in defense of the land of Iraq and the holy shrines. We say, from the city of Imam Hussein, that neither ISIS, nor the malicious House of Saud, foundling Qatar, or damned Turkey will be able to achieve this scheme in Iraq, the scheme of America, the Great Satan. This is thanks to this safety valve [POINTING TO PORTRAIT OF AYATOLLAH SISTANI] who issued such a great fatwa, and these men who obeyed the fatwa.
God willing, in the next few hours, the good news of the full liberation of Salahuddin province will be announced.
Yes, we offered martyrs and casualties but, relatively to previous operations, their numbers are small.”