Members of the Iranian revolutionary guard march during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011. (Reuters photo)

NAJAF, Iraq (Reuters) - A group of Iraq's Shi'ite militia groups said on Saturday that they strongly rejected the designation of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) as a terrorist organization by the United States.

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Iran is responsible for the deaths of more than 600 U.S. service members in Iraq from 2003 until 2011, according to a Pentagon report provided to the State Department.

"During Operation Iraqi Freedom, DoD assessed that at least 603 U.S. personnel deaths in Iraq were the result of Iran-backed militants," Pentagon spokesman Navy Cmdr. Sean Robertson told Task & Purpose.

"These casualties were the result of explosively formed penetrators, other improvised explosive devices, improvised rocket-assisted munitions, rockets, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, small-arms, sniper, and other attacks in Iraq."

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Photo illustration by Brad Howard: Associated Press/ Hadi Mizban.

Your friend and intrepid Pentagon correspondent recently heard this while talking to a colleague: “You DO look like Muqtada al-Sadr!”

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Associated Press / Hadi Mizban.

As the noose was placed around Saddam Hussein’s neck in December 2006, his masked guards yelled: “Muqtada! Muqtada! Muqtada!”

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Associated Press photo

Nearly 15 years after the U.S. military toppled Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, the U.S. government is replaying its post-invasion script that only a few isolated groups of fighters remain in Iraq. After two suicide bombers killed more than 30 people in Baghdad on Jan. 15, a U.S. commander in Iraq said it is too early to determine whether ISIS has morphed into an insurgency.

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