Experts Warn of Increasing Extortion by Armed Groups in Iraq

Political observers consider these developments dangerous, warning that such behavior could damage Iraq's commercial reputation and place immense pressure on the government and citizens.
An armed security personnel standing next to a security vehicle. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
An armed security personnel standing next to a security vehicle. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Experts and activists in Iraq are raising alarms over the growing phenomenon of extortion by armed groups and militias.

These outlawed parties and some armed factions pose a significant threat to Iraq's stability, particularly after recent attacks on truck drivers on the border between Diyala and Baghdad, where extortion demands were made.

Political observers consider these developments dangerous, warning that such behavior could damage Iraq's commercial reputation and place immense pressure on the government and citizens.

"Some armed groups generally put pressure on citizens. These pressures include extorting businessmen and employers. Such behavior poses a threat to the reputation of the Iraqi state in general and citizens in particular," said political analyst Amer Hazim.

Failure to address the actions of these armed groups could lead to disastrous consequences, according to experts. They believe this situation could inspire the formation of other similar groups, further endangering the security of various provinces.

“The behavior of any group outside the rule of law and government institutions is certainly against the government and causes conflict. This gives other groups the opportunity to disrupt security and stability. It will destroy stability and security in the provinces and the region in general,” said Hussein Ahmed, a researcher.

The critical question remains whether the government can resolve the issue of armed groups that have exerted pressure on the state and its people or if it will fail this challenging test like successive governments in the past.

 

Additional reporting by Kurdistan24's Baghdad Correspondent Sayf Ali