Members of the Iraqi Shiite militia, Kataib Hezbollah. EPA Photo.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - The powerful Shiite paramilitary group Kataib Hezbollah has threatened to withdraw its forces from eastern Fallujah over alleged lack of support from the Iraqi government, the group said in a statement released Thursday.
“The current government and the leadership of Hashd al-Shaabi militia have not provided any support for us… [So] we will step out of eastern Fallujah if they fail to support us,” the statement read.
Kataib Hezbollah, an Iran-backed militia not to be confused with Lebanese Hezbollah, also referred to its distaste for US involvement in Iraq's campaign against the Islamic State. During the liberation of Tikrit last month, the group slammed the inclusion of US airstrikes calling it “an effort to cover up local forces victories in the operation.”
Thursday's statement read: "Let the Americans protect the areas in north of Amiriyah, Tariq camp and Baghdad Airport.”
According to reports, Hezbollah’s forces are protecting at least five strategic areas in the military push against ISIS in Anbar province.
Hard-line Shiite militia groups, including Kataib Hezbollah and Asaib al-Haq, are allegedly responsible for the deaths of more than 1,000 US troops since 2003.