Badr Organization ( _ar. منظمة بدر) (previously known as "Badr Brigade" or "Bader Corps" -- not to be confused with the
Badr Brigade in the Jordanian Army) is the armed wing of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council(SIIC). Headed by Hadi Al-Amiriit participated in the 2005 Iraqi electionas part of the United Iraqi Alliancecoalition. Its members have entered the new Iraqi army and police force.
The Organization was based in Iran for two decades during the rule of
Saddam Hussein. It consisted of several thousand Iraqi exiles, refugees, and defectors who fought alongside Iran in the Iran–Iraq War. Returning to Iraq following the 2003 coalition invasion the group changed its name from brigade to organization in response to the attempted voluntary disarming of Iraqi militias by the Coalition Provisional Authority. It has pledged to give up its arms when the security situation is resolved.
Originally the Badr Brigade, it grew to a division and then a corps. The Badr Brigade was formed by the Iranian government to fight
Saddam Hussein's Baathist regime in Iraq. Its members were drawn from pro-Iranian Iraqi Shia political and religious dissidents. The Badr forces fought alongside Iran in the Iran–Iraq War (1980-1988). Before 2003, it was based in Iran for two decades during the rule of Saddam Hussein.
The Badr Corps consists of infantry, armor, artillery, anti-aircraft and commando units with an estimated strength of between 10,000 and 50,000 men (according to the Badr Organization) but this is difficult to confirm. It is also hard to estimate how much capability they have beyond light arms today as CPA forces are unlikely to have allowed them to retain armor and other easily identified heavy assets in Iraq's current (2007) uncertain situation.
Badr Organization and post-invasion Iraq
Because of their opposition to Saddam Hussein, the Badr Brigade was seen as a U.S. asset in the fight against Baathist partisans. After the fall of Baghdad, Badr forces reportedly joined the newly-reconstituted army, police and Interior Ministry in significant numbers.
Currently based in and around
Karbala, the Badr Organization effectively rules that city and other parts of southern Iraq. It has played a leading role in fighting insurgents there. While the organization has lessened the burden on coalition troops there have also been tensions between the two. There have been reports of gun battles between the organization and British troops that occupied the area. The government of Iyad Allawihas accused the Badr Organization of assassinating Iraqi intelligence officers on behalf of Iran, something the organization strenuously denies.
The organization has also been accused of engaging in 'death march' campaigns against Iraqis whom they deem to be immoral; i.e. unchaste women, shopkeepers that sell alcohol or western consumer goods or people believed to be engaging in homosexuality or cross-dressing. For more discussion on this see
Gay rights in Iraq.
Private militias in Iraq
* [http://www.npr.org/programs/atc/transcripts/2003/mar/030310.watson.html NPR: Opposition Group Claiming to Represent Iraqi Shias Enters Northern Iraq]
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