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Mehdi Army / Peace Companies (Iraq)

Saraya al-Salam

Last modified: 2020-07-30 by ian macdonald
Keywords: iraq | shiite | mehdi army | peace companies |
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image by Randy Young, 7 October 2016


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Mehdi Army

The Mehdi Army is now called Peace Companies (Saraya al-Salam). Its new flag is the logo (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_Companies#/media/File:Logo_of_the_Peace_Companies.png) on a white horizontal flag as seen here: http://cdn.iraqinews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/NB-135493-635684218915299753.jpg (source: http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/al-salam-brigades-we-are-thirsty-american-blood/) and http://jihadintel.meforum.org/pics/symbols/large/295.jpg (source: http://jihadintel.meforum.org/group/124/saraya-al-salam).

For additional information go to Saraya al-Salam (official website): http://sarayasalam.com/
Esteban Rivera, 4 October 2016

image from William Garrison, 30 October 2013

The green flag seems to have image of Iraq border, with a Lebanon flag. Maybe an ISIS variety?
William Garrison, 30 October 2013

The image was taken on July 21, 2006. It, and others from the same march, can be found at Getty Images. The caption of the photo is:
"Baghdad, IRAQ: Armed members of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's armed movement, Mehdi Army, carrying assault rifles and rocket propelled grenades and waving Lebanese and Hezbollah flags parade through the Baghdad Shiite district of Sadr City 21 July 2006. More than 300 Mehdi Army militiamen paraded in solidarity with Lebanon's Shiite militia of Hezbollah currently battling Israel in southern Lebanon." Photo credit should read Wissam al-Okaili/AFP/Getty Images).
I presume the green flag represents al-Sadr's Mehdi Army. It, like Hezbollah, is a Shia group. It would be in conflict, not alliance, with a Sunni group like ISIS.
Andy Shelton, 03 November 2013

The Mehdi Army sometimes known as al-Dajjal Army and even known as Jaysh al-Mahdi or Mahdi Army, is an armed movement that appeared in 2003. The name refers to the Mahdi, a long-since disappeared Imam who is believed by Shi'a Muslims to be due to reappear when the end of time approaches. The tradition mentions that prophet Muhammad said that the advent of the Mahdi would be signaled by "Black Standards" proceeding from Khorasan. Hence the use of black flags referring to Jihadists movements. This group has periodically engaged in violent conflict with the United States and other Coalition forces, while the larger Sadrist movement has formed its own religious courts, and organized social services, law enforcement, and prisons in areas under its control. par of the support and relation among this and other groups is that there are some SGs (Special Groups) a designation given by the American military to the cell-based Shi'a paramilitary organizations operating within Iraq, backed by Iran. According to the Americans these groups are funded, trained, and armed by the Iranian Quds Force, part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. A distinction between these groups and the Mahdi Army has been maintained more clearly since al-Sadr called for a ceasefire at the end of August 2007 following Mahdi Army clashes with Iraqi Security Forces in Karbala, Iraq but the Special Groups continued fighting. After the disbanding of the Mahdi Army in 2008 its  successor was announced as a group called the Brigade of Promised Day; however the largest special group which emerged after the  Iraq spring fighting of 2008 was a group called the Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq or Qazali Network. According to the Guardian newspaper in March 2014, Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq is controlled by Iran under Al-Quds Force. Another large special group is Kata'ib Hezbollah (or Hezbollah Brigades) which started to operate independently from the Mahdi Army and the other Special Groups."
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahdi_Army,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muqtada_al-Sadr,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quds_Force,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Bakr_al-Baghdadi  and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Groups_(Iraq)
Esteban Rivera, 17 June 2014

Several flag images of this group can be found on a Google-image search.
Bill Garrison, 20 August 2019

image from William Garrison, 19 November 2019

Source: https://www.middleeastmilitaria.com/pmu-militant-group-flags.html
"The Peace Companies [Saraya al-Salam] are the modern revival of the Mahdi Army, and are led by Muqtada al-Sadr. They are currently part of the PMU and have been battling ISIS." (c. 2019)

Peace Corps/Brigade flag with photos of 3 Shia-Muslim religious figures; (Left to Right): Muqtada al-Sadr [b. 1974] a Shiite religious-political leader in Iraq {here seen in military garb}; his father Muhammad Sadeq (or Sadiq) al-Sadr (or as-Sadr) [b.1943-d.1999] a Shiite Grand Ayatollah in Iraq; and Shiite Imam al-Husayn (or Hussain) [d. Oct. 680 at the battle of Karbala].
Here "Peace Corps" is not similar to the non-military U.S. Peace Corps, but in Iraq it refers to a resistance military unit the size of either a Corps or a Brigade (depending on how you want to translate the size of the military unit). [Depending upon your transliteration, "Peace Corps/Brigade/Company" can be spoken as: "Saraya al-Salam"; "saraya" for either "corps" or "brigade" or "company", and "salam" for "peace".] The red slogan in the tilted square logo reads: "Saraya al-Salam".
William Garrison, 19 November 2019