asked Her Majesty's Government:
- (a) whether they will list the militias in Iraq;
- (b) whether these are Shia Arab, Sunni Arab or Kurdish and to what political party or individual they owe allegiance; and
- (c) what are the estimated numbers in each militia. [HL1333]
§ Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean
The issue of militias in Iraq is being addressed as part of efforts to form the New Iraqi Army, Iraq Civil Defence Corps and the Iraqi Police Service. There is widespread recognition in Iraq of the need for such militias to disband or be incorporated in the new national security forces. It would be provocative, at a sensitive time in the national Iraqi debate on the future of militia, to list specific groups. There is no simple definition of militia in Iraq. There are many groups in Iraq possessing weapons and it is not possible to be certain of membership or numbers. Reporting is often contradictory or attributes membership differently due to changes or variations in group names.