The Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) commands military forces called Badr Corps. This started as a brigade and developed into a division and then into a corps. The Badr Corps consist of thousands of former Iraqi officers and soldiers who defected from the Iraqi army, Iraqi refugees, and Iraqis who fled the country and join SCIRI.
The Badr Corps' main military goal was to crush Iran's nemesis, the Mujahedeen Khalq Organisation (MKO), a guerrilla group of Iranians who fell out with Tehran in the early days of the 1979 revolution and allied themselves with Baghdad.
In September 2003 Leaders of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Resistance in Iraq (SCIRI) confirmed that the group's armed force, the Badr Corps, remained active despite a US demand that the militia disband.
The Islamic leadership in Iraq followed civil methods in its religious, cultural and political movement in Iraq after the 1920 revolution against the British occupation. However after the second Ba'ath coup in 1968 the Islamic movement as whole faced all kind of repression in the late 1960's and 1970's. Thousands of religious scholars and Islamic activists have been arrested and tortured. Hundreds of them have been killed while being torture or executed.
The Ba'ath regime started its reign with a brutal confrontation with the religious leadership of Grand Ayatollah Sayed Muhsin Al Hakim who was put under house arrest. His son Sayed Mahdi Al Hakim was accused of being a traitor and fled the country and was assassinated later in Sudan in 1988. In 1974 five religious leaders were executed. In 1977 there was a popular uprising when the regime prevented the people from visiting the Shrine of Imam Husain in the holy city of Karbala. Sayed Mohamad Baqir al-Hakim, the leader of SCIRI and the son of Grand Ayatollah Sayed Muhsin Al Hakim, was arrested, tortured and sentenced to life imprisonment without a trial. In 1980 Ayatollah Mohamad Baqir Al Sadr, who became the religious leader after the death of Sayed Muhsin Al Hakim, was executed with his sister Amina Al Sadr. Saddam's regime issued a decree to execute all the members of the Islamic Movement.
The Islamic leadership decided to defend itself by force. Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir Al Hakim fled Iraq as his life was in danger. He settled in Iran among the largest Iraqi community outside Iraq. He started to mobilise Iraqis who were deported to Iran by Saddam's regime, Iraqi officers and soldiers who defected from Iraq during Iraq- Iran war as well as Islamic movement members who fled Iraq.
The strategy of Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir Al Hakim the leader of SCIRI was as follows:
- To establish popular secret resistance cells inside Iraq.
- To mobilise Iraqis outside Iraq and to train them on using arms.
- To establish an armed force to fight Saddam's regime.
Ayatollah Al Hakim started this force with a brigade called Badr Brigade which developed in to a division and then into a corps. It consists of thousands of fighters recomited from Iraqi refugees in Iran, Iraqi migrants and Iraqi military officers as well as soldiers from Iraqi army who defected during Iran- Iraq war. A new wave of fighters arrived in Iran after the popular uprising of March 1991 which was crushed by Saddam's regime.
Ayatollah Al Hakim's brother, Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim, was leader of the armed wing of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, headquartered in Iran before the war.
The Badr corps consist of Infantry, Armored, Artillery, Anti aircraft and commandos units. The training courses are supervised by Iraqi military officers and commanders who defected from Iraqi army.
The Badr forces strategy is as follows:
- To build military bases in some safe areas such as the Marshes in southern Iraq and Kurdistan in Northern Iraq.
- To establish secret resistance cells all over Iraq.
- To keep mobilising and training camps outside Iraq in the neighbouring countries which allow such activities.
During the popular uprising of March 1991 the secret cells and elements which was connected to Badr corps took part actively in launching and spreading the uprising from the south to other parts of Iraq.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|