Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada

Also Known As: 

Battalion of the Sayyid's Martyrs
The Master of the Martyrs Brigade
Kata'ib Abu Fadl al-Abbas
Kata'ib Karbala
Kataib Sayyid Al-Shuhada

Weapon Program: 

  • Military





Entity Web Site: 


An Iraq-based Shiite militia overseen by the Iranian military; determined by the U.S. Department of State to warrant the imposition of sanctions for supporting proliferation-related transfers to or acquisitions by Iran, Syria, or North Korea.

Believed to receive funding and supplies from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps - Quds Force (IRGC-QF).

Has reportedly fought on behalf of the Assad government in Syria, including in coordination with Hezbollah and the IRGC; suspected of involvement in the Assad government's 2013 sarin attack in the Damascus suburb of East Ghouta; has reportedly stored rockets in a weapons depot in Baghdad.

Part of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), an umbrella organization of Iran-linked militias in Iraq that fought the Islamic State in Iraq; reportedly operates under the Iraqi Interior Ministry.

Has reportedly threatened to attack the Baghdad embassies of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates and to take U.S. citizens in Iraq hostage in the event of conflict between the United States and Iran; reportedly offered to deploy fighters to Yemen to assist the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Leaders reportedly include Abu Ala al-Wa'eli, Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani, and Falih Khazali.

Reportedly founded in May 2013.


Sanctioned (with all successors, sub-units, and subsidiaries) by the U.S. Department of State on February 3, 2020, under the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act; sanctions apply for two years and ban the U.S. government from procuring from, contracting with, providing assistance to, or issuing export licenses involving controlled items for the entity.

Date Entered: 

March 31, 2020

Date Last Modified: 

March 31, 2020