Mohammed Younis al-Ahmed

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Younis al-Ahmed
محمد يونس الأحمد
Muhammad Yunis al-Ahmad.jpg
Regional Secretary of the Regional Command of the Iraqi Regional Branch
Incumbent
Assumed office
3 January 2007
Preceded by Saddam Hussein
Personal details
Born 1949 (age 64–65)
al-Mowall, Mosul, Iraq
Political party Iraqi Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party
Religion Sunni Islam
Military service
Nickname(s) Khadr al-Sabahi
Allegiance Iraq Baathist Iraq (to 2003)
Service/branch Iraqi Army
Unit Political Guidance Directorate

Mohammed Younis al-Ahmed al-Muwali (Arabic: محمد يونس الأحمد‎) aka "Khadr al-Sabahi" is a former senior member of the Ba'ath Party in Iraq with a Million Dollar Bounty on his head as one of Iraq's most wanted men accused of funding and leading resistance operations.[1] He is the leader of al-Awda; an underground Ba'athist movement in Iraq.

Early life[edit]

Ahmed was born in 1949 in al-Mowall in the governorate of Mosul, Iraq.[2]

Pre-War[edit]

Before the Invasion of Iraq Ahmed served in the Political Guidance Directorate of the Iraqi Army, the department tasked with ensuring Ba'athist control of the military. He later became a senior member of the Ba'ath Party's Military Bureau.[3]

Post War[edit]

A former aide to former President of Iraq and leader Saddam Hussein and a regional Baath Party organiser who it appears was trained in Moscow, following the 2003 War in Iraq he has emerged as one of the leading figures among the Iraqi Insurgency and a major rival to Izzat Ibrahim ad-Douri.[4][5]

Largely based in Syria since the war he is believed to have access to substantial funds and that he has been disbursing funds and directing fighting of Sunni Insurgents inside Iraq.[6]

On 23 August 2009 the Iraqi government aired a taped conversation linking two members of the Syria-based Iraqi Ba'athist movement, Sattam Farhan and Mohammed Younis al-Ahmed, with the 19 August 2009 Baghdad bombings which claimed more than 100 lives.[7] The Syrian foreign ministry denied Syrian involvement in the attack. On 25 August Iraq summoned its ambassador to return from Syria, the Syrian government issued a similar order to its ambassador within hours in retaliation.[7] Responsibility for the attack was later claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq, an Al-Qaeda umbrella group.[7]

Ba'athist Rivalries[edit]

Ahmed was first mentioned in a report in the Iraqi government-owned al-Sabah newspaper, which reported on 6 December 2004 that a captured insurgent, Moyayad Yaseen Ahmad, the leader of Jeish Muhammad, had claimed that Ahmed had recently been elected Secretary of the Iraqi Ba'ath Party at a conference held by a group of Ba'athist fugitives in Al-Hasakah, Syria. Ahmed made another attempt for the party leadership following the death of Saddam Hussein, leading to condemnation from supporters of al-Douri who ordered the expulsion of Ahmed and 150 other members of the party. Ahmed issued a counter-order ordering the expulsion of al-Douri from the party, leading to the creation of two separate wings of the Iraqi Ba'ath Party.[3]

Ahmed's wing of the party allegedly has contacts with former Republican Guard Commander Ra'ad al-Hamdani,[8] and has also allegedly been in contact with Wafiq Al-Samarrai in an effort to legitimize the party.

Ahmed, in his attempts to reunite the party, and built a close working relationship with the Syrian government. Unlike al-Douri, who distrusts the Syrians due to their alliance with the Iranians. The Syrian government is quietly supporting Ahmed in order to gain more control over the Iraqi Ba'ath party.[9]

Ahmed's attempts to recruit support in Syria from former Iraqi Ba'athists is meeting some success, particularly among the poorer Sunni Arab segment of the refugee population, due in part to Ahmed's ability to offer cash incentives and Syrian residency permits due to their closeness to the Syrian government.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Iraq Releases Most-Wanted List - CBS, 3 July 2006
  2. ^ Consolidated list of financial sanctions targets in the UK - HM Treasury
  3. ^ a b Reviving the Iraqi Ba’ath: A Profile of General Muhammad Yunis al-Ahmad
  4. ^ Saddam aide in exile heads list of most wanted rebels The Guardian, 17 October 2004
  5. ^ Battle for New Leader Likely The Guardian, 1 January 2007
  6. ^ A conflict over 15 billion dollars between Izzat Al-Duri and Mohammed Younis al-Ahmed Iraq Directory, 16 November 2006
  7. ^ a b c "Iraq and Syria recall ambassadors". BBC. 25 August 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2009. 
  8. ^ Sam Dagher (25 April 2009). "Iraq Resists Pleas by U.S. to Placate Baath Party". New York Times. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Hugh Naylor (7 October 2007). "Syria Is Said to Be Strengthening Ties to Opponents of Iraq’s Government". New York Times. Retrieved 31 August 2013.