Abu Tahseen – War Veteran – Iraqi Popular Mobilization Unit Sniper
Before the Islamic State entered Iraq, the Shia militia were fighting battles among themselves and against the Iraqi state. Upon IS occupation however, Shia fighters found themselves on the same side as the Iraqi army – and each other – in their desire to drive the jihadists out of the cities they had taken control over and defend their country.
The war in Iraq has seen many stories of bravery and heroism, of soldiers willing to give up life and limb in the name of patriotism and peace. One such story is that of Abu Tahseen, who is a unique kind of fighter on his own, being well past what is considered retirement age in other countries.
Abu Tahseen is one tough veteran – and he’s not the kind who sits at home, watching television and waiting for his pension checks to arrive. At 63 years old, not only has Tahseen earned a reputation as being one of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units, he is still actively serving as one of the country’s deadliest snipers.
Born in 1953, Tahseen had seen his share of wars – he was after all, a sniper for five of them, including the Yom Kippur war, Iran-Iraq war, Invasion of Kuwait, Gulf War and today fights against ISIS. He joined the Popular Mobilization Units as a volunteer. Since May 2015, Tahseen’s sharp shooting has been felled 173 ISIS fighters, and everyone on his side hopes that number goes up.
Tahseen is currently stationed at Makhoul Mountains in North Baiji. “I’m relaxed, my mind is relaxed. Last time they gave me a month off and after 12 days I came back,” Tahseen said. With his eyesight still clear enough to aim for and hit the enemy, Tahseen continues to be an invaluable resource for the Iraqi side of the ongoing conflict.