The Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Unit (PMU) militia group has named Abu Fadak al-Mohammadawi as its new leader, succeeding Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis who was killed in Iraq alongside Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani last month.\r\nSeveral Iraqi politicians and activities confirmed the appointment on Friday after the PMU held a board meeting recently.\r\nIranian state-owned Press TV quoted Abu Ali al-Bassari, a PMU official, as saying that the chief commander of the Iraqi armed forces \u201cwill sign Abu Fadak\u2019s decree in the next couple of days.\u201d\r\nThe new PMU leader, whose real name is Abdulaziz al-Mohammadawi, has been known to go by the nickname \u201cal-Khal\u201d or the uncle in English.\r\n\r\n\r\nDue to his nickname of \u201cthe uncle,\u201d al-Mohammadawi has been linked to the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad last December as the phrase \u201cthe uncle passed through here\u201d was found written on the embassy\u2019s wall.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAl-Mohammadawi was considered as a close friend of Soleimani. An old photograph of Soleimani kissing his forehead began to resurface on social media on Friday amid reports of his impending appointment as head of the PMU.\r\nHe had previously worked with the Badr Organization in 1983. The group is considered a terrorist entity by the United States and run by Hadi al-Amiri.\r\nAl-Mohammadawi took part in Iran\u2019s war against Iraq and is accused of killing and torturing Iraqi prisoners.\r\n\r\n\r\nIraqi activists hold al-Mohammadawi for the recent massacre of protesters on the Sinak Bridge and al-Khilani Square.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHe recently served as the secretary-general of Kata\u2019ib Hezbollah, a hardline pro-Iran faction in Iraq\u2019s PMU militia forces. He joined Kata\u2019ib Hezbollah shortly after its formation in 2003.\r\nAccording to Al Arabiya sources, al-Mohammadawi briefly left Kata\u2019ib Hezbollah due to internal disagreements within the group over an issue regarding the multi-million-dollar ransom payment during the group\u2019s kidnapping of Qatari hunters in 2015. He then returned to the group under a direct order from Soleimani after the outbreak of mass protests which erupted last October.\r\nThe reportedly new leader of the PMU also took part in the group\u2019s fight against ISIS in Iraq, specifically in Fallujah, Qa'im, and Tal Afar.\r\nDue to his nickname of \u201cthe uncle,\u201d al-Mohammadawi has been linked to the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad last December as the phrase \u201cthe uncle passed through here\u201d was found written on the embassy\u2019s wall.\r\nIraqi activists hold al-Mohammadawi for the recent massacre of protesters on the Sinak Bridge and al-Khilani Square.