British Military Trainer Instructs Shia Militia Paratroopers

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November 18, 2014
Karbala, Iraq

Iraqi British military trainer Shaker al-Saidi instructs volunteers from the Al-Abbas Combat Division, a Shia militia that is fighting alongside the Iraqi Army. The video shows the trainee paratroopers in a training session, in Karbala, prior to their first practice jump from over 3000 feet. The Iraqi army has provided the militia with a helicopter to help in the fight against ISIS. The volunteers have been undergoing intensive training for 14 to 15 hours a day for the last 45 days.

In 1983, Shaker joined the Youth Academy for Paratroopers in Iraq. In 2000 he emigrated with his family to Britain where he continued developing these skills before becoming a trainer and a member of the British Parachute Regiment, the airborne infantry of the British Army. He also trained British forces stationed in the United Arab Emirates and many other Arabic countries.


Saleh, fighter in Al-Abbas Combat Division (man, Arabic):
(0:55-01:19) "We belong to Al-Abbas Combat Division. My fellow fighters and I fight under the flag of the religious leader and today is our first trial jump."

Interviewer: "How many meters are you going to jump?"

Saleh: "3000 feet." (1000 meters)

Shaker al-Saidi, Iraqi British trainer (man, Arabic):
(01:24-02:01) "The purpose of this training is that in the current circumstances we are experiencing the need for paratroopers who can reach areas that are difficult for field fighters or vehicles to access. We might need to use them for special targets in the night time. Those chosen paratroopers can be the beginning of the formation of a parachuting force consisting of over 100 fighters."

Maitham al-Zubaidi, commander of Al-Abbas Combat Division, (man, Arabic):
(03:15-04-11) "This is the first trained group in Al-Abbas Combat Division, trained by the international trainer Shaker al-Saedi. Al-Abbas Combat Division was formed as an answer to the call of the religious leader, and it was included in the Iraqi army and a part of the operations of al-Furat al-Awsat. The purpose of today's jump is to increase the strength and the abilities of the fighters in the group to be able to face the current and upcoming challenges."

Shaker al-Saidi:
(05:42-06-11) "The first jump in the history of "the popular forces" is taken by this hero right here, under the leadership of Al-Abbas Combat Division. History will document this. The first jump in Iraq for military purposes. The first jump and many more to come, striking the heart of the enemy."