Qais Khazali, leader of a pro-Iranian militia in Iraq, accused the US of controlling one of the arms of Iraq’s government through the CIA and accused Israel of arming protesters. “The American-Israel project in Iraq aims to cause internal strife,” he said, according to Iranian media reports. Khazali is the head of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia which is part of Iraq’s official paramilitary Popular Mobilization Units.The US has named Khazali as one of Iraq’s leading pro-Iranian voices and part of the conduit of IRGC influence in Iraq. He was part of the web of Iraqis supported by IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani. Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike on January 3 along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an Iraqi militia leader. Khazali is now the second most high profile member of the PMU after Hadi al-Amiri. He has been rumored to be in hiding since the US airstrikes, fearing that he is on an American target list. Rumors in Iraq even claimed he has been detained or assassinated three times since January 3. Khazali told Iraq’s Al-Ahad TV that the US and Israel are conspiring in Iraq to support and kill protesters and blame the deaths on Iranian-backed groups like Khazali’s Asaib Ahl al-Haq. The US sanctioned Khazali and his brother in December for suppressing protests and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned Iraq’s crackdown on protests over the weekend. “The US-Israeli goal is to cause deaths from the Hashd factions,” Khazali said. The “Hashd” refers to the PMU. He claims the US and Israel are behind the large number of demonstrations in Iraq since October.The Iraqi said that the US helped overthrow Iraq’s last Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi. He says he supports the new Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Allawi. He alleges the US is trying to remove the PMU from Iraq and the US wants to severe Iraq’s recent agreements with China. He says that his group lost 800 men fighting ISIS. He argues the US has a plan that consists of three parts for Iraq: Plan A was election fraud in 2018, plan B was the October protests and Plan C is assassinations.Khazali alleges he has “secret documents” that Qasem Soleimani gave him. The documents show that the CIA has infiltrated one arm of Iraq’s government. He doesn’t specify which branch. The documents show that a senior member of one of Iraq’s branches of government is a “recruiter for the CIA project.” This information is likely put out by Khazali to contrast with claims in US and other media that Iran has infiltrated Iraq. A report at the New York Times and The Intercept last year provided leaked documents from Iranian intelligence showing its infiltration of Iraq. Al-Hurra also revealed this month that Iran is paying Iraqi agents. Khazali blames Israel as well for taking over a branch of Iraq’s government. Khazali travelled to Lebanon in 2017 to threaten Israel and like many Iranian officials he asserts that he is resisting an American-Israeli plot in the Middle East. Members of the PMU, such as Amiri, have accused Israel of airstrikes in Iraq last year and have claimed Israel and the US are behind the protests.Khazali’s claims are part of a growing crackdown against the protesters. More than 600 protesters have been killed, many of them targeted by groups within the PMU such as Saraya al-Khorasani and Badr. That means that Khazali is accusing the protesters of being armed by the CIA and Mossad as part of a way to excuse a crackdown. He says “groups affiliated with the US have set fire to our bases and murdered our forced but we did not take revenge because we want to move the country away from a civil war. The US wants to tarnish the image of the Hashd al-Shaabi and stoke civil conflict.” The PMU says that foreign powers are causing fitna or sedition and strife. This is Khazali’s latest statement hammering this claim him. His comments were printed at Tasnim News, Fars News and other sites.As part of Iran’s role in Iraq, including supporting Khazali and feeding narratives about CIA conspiracies, Fars News also reports that target media in Iraq. The latest harassment of media in Iraq is the targeting of Steven Nabil, a journalist for Al-Hurra. The site Buratha News put up photos of him with US officials and Fars News now claims “Iraq media disclose protest leaders ties with US.”Now social media is reporting the Khazali conspiracies as part of a larger attempt to tarnish the protests, the US, Israel and critical media. The protesters are defiant in the face of attempts to tarnish them and spread conspiracies against them. They say their revolution will not end.