Jaysh al-Mu'ammal

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Jaysh al-Mu'ammal
Participant in the Iraqi Civil War (2014–2017) and the Syrian Civil War
Logo of Jaysh al-Mu'ammal; the text reads "The Islamic Resistance Movement in Iraq and al-Sham [Syria]: Jaysh al-Mu'ammal"[1]
Logo of Jaysh al-Mu'ammal; the text reads "The Islamic Resistance Movement in Iraq and al-Sham [Syria]: Jaysh al-Mu'ammal"[1]
IdeologyShia Islamism
Sadrist Thought
Shia solidarity
LeadersSa'ad Sawar
HeadquartersSadr City, Baghdad
Area of operationsIraq, Syria
Part ofPopular Mobilization Forces[2]
Split fromSadrist Movement (Peace Companies)
Allies Iran
Iraqi Shia private militias
Islamic Dawa Party (Nouri al-Maliki)
Opponent(s) Islamic State

Jaysh al-Mu'ammal, also known as Liwa al-Mu'ammal[3] or as the Popular Mobilization Forces' 99th Brigade, is a Shia Islamist Iraqi private militia that is led by Sa'ad Sawar and has fought in the Syrian Civil War and Iraqi Civil War. Founded as splinter faction of the Sadrist Movement, Jaysh al-Mu'ammal is supported by Iran and former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.


Jaysh al-Mu'ammal reportedly emerged due to disputes among the Iraqi Sadrist Movement.[3][4] After the Syrian Civil War's outbreak, Muqtada al-Sadr had decided not to aid the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, which led to discontent among his followers. One of the leading commanders of the Sadrist Peace Companies, Sa'ad Sawar, openly broke with Muqtada al-Sadr and travelled to Damascus,[5][2] where he joined another Iraqi militia, Liwa Assad Allah al-Ghalib fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham, to fight against the Syrian insurgents.[4]

As time went on, disputes over the leadership and course of the Sadrist Movement continued, with a number of factions breaking off.[3] After returning to Iraq, Sa'ad Sawar consequently managed to rally a substantial number of dissatisfied Sadrists to his cause,[5] and announced the foundation of "Jaysh al-Mu'ammal" in June 2016.[3] The new group reportedly received substantial aid from Nouri al-Maliki, the former Prime Minister of Iraq and a rival to Muqtada al-Sadr,[3] who provided Jaysh al-Mu'ammal with 3 million United States dollar in cash, weapons worth $1,5 million, and the support from a number of tribal sheikhs in central and southern Iraq.[5] Sa'ad Sawar also received support from Iran and other splinter faction of the Sadrist Movements as well, such as Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq.[3]

Since then, Jaysh al-Mu'ammal has been operating in Syria[4] and Iraq, where it has joined the Popular Mobilization Forces as "99th Brigade".[2] By mid-2018, Jaysh al-Mu'ammal was involved in anti-ISIL counter-insurgency operations in Saladin Governorate.[6]

Organization and ideology[edit]

Led by Sa'ad Sawar, Jaysh al-Mu'ammal is headquartered in Sadr City, Baghdad,[3] where it also recruits most of its forces.[4] A number of pro-Nouri al-Maliki elements in central and southern Iraq have also joined the group or at least provide support.[5]

Unlike Muqtada al-Sadr, who is focused on Iraq, Sa'ad Sawar has emphasized his readiness to provide military support to Shia groups outside of his home country. His group consequently operates in both Iraq as well as Syria, and has also declared its willingness to support the Houthis in the Yemeni Civil War, and to fight with the Bahraini opposition against the Sunni House of Khalifa.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jaysh al-Mu'ammal Emblem". Jihad Intel. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi (31 October 2017). "Hashd Brigade Numbers Index". Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Jaysh al-Mu'ammal". Jihad Intel. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d AFPC (2017), p. 340.
  5. ^ a b c d "هل تنجح إيران في تفكيك التيار الصدري عبر المالكي؟" [Will Iran succeed in dismantling the Sadrist movement through Maliki?]. ilalamam. 16 June 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  6. ^ Shelly Kittleson (11 April 2018). "Iraqi police who fought for tribal PMUs won't return to force". al-Monitor. Retrieved 4 August 2018.