Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) have appointed Abu Fadak as a successor to its former Deputy Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was assassinated by the U.S. earlier this year, the Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported on February 20.
Abu Fadak Abdulaziz al-Mohammadawi, known as al-Khal, is leading member of Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH). In the 80s he took part in the intelligence work of the Shia Badr Organization against the regime of Saddam Hussein.
Deputy Chairman of the PMU, Abu Ali al-Basri, told the INA that Commander-in-Chief of Iraqi Armed Forces, that Abu Fadak was chosen as the new Deputy Commander during a high-level meeting.
“We have been informed that the order for the appointment of Abu Fadak will be signed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces [Prime Minister Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi] within the next two days,” al-Basri said.
According to Iraqi sources, Abu Fadk was heavily involved in the resistance of U.S. forces after the 2003 invasion. The Iraqi commander also had close ties with Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the former leader of Iran’s Quds Force.
A U.S. drone strike on Baghdad on January 3 killed both Soleimani and al-Muhandis. Back then, Washington justified the assassination by claiming the two leaders were plotting attacks against U.S. interests in the Middle East.
Under the command of Abu Fadak, the PMU will likely follow the same policies set by late al-Muhandis, especially the close cooperation with Iran.