A Polish small arms magazine recently posted this to their social media page. It appears to be of a group of Iraqi militiamen from the Imam Ali Brigade, as is evidenced by the circular yellow patch with a Kalashnikov over an image of a green country profile of Iraq . The bearded militiaman is posing with a huge bolt action anti-materiel rifle. These DIY conversions had been seen multiple times during the Syrian conflict. Supposedly this gun uses either 14,5mm (from KPV or KPVT) or 23 mm (from ZU-23-2) barrel with an improvised receiver, bolt, trigger mechanism, furniture and bipod. You can also see a picatinny rail section mounted on top of the receiver for attaching a scope.
I guess they use the survived barrels from guns with damaged or destroyed mechanisms. Otherwise, it won’t be justified to take the barrel from a functional heavy machine gun or automatic cannon. Although depending on the situation it can be the case, too.
When making the new stock and forearm, the gunsmith definitely tried to make it look like an SVD/Al-Kadesiah.
Note also the other guys’ weapons: an AK, M4 Carbine and an M249 SAW LMG.
The Shi’a Imam Ali Brigade (Cited Source- The Observers)
The Iraqi Shiite militia known as the Imam Ali Brigades is accused of having committed multiple war crimes in the fight against the Islamic State organisation in Iraq, including summary executions and torture of captives. But its brutality isn’t the only thing fuelling the militia’s notoriety – it also has a well-oiled communications strategy.
In June 2014, Shiite leader Ayatollah Sistani made an appeal for mobilisation against the Islamic State organisation. Numerous Iraqi Shiite militias were formed after this announcement.
These new formations joined the four large, already-existing Shiite militias in Iraq: the Badr Brigade, founded in Iran in 1982; Saraya al-Salam (the “Peace Brigades”), which is directed by the radical Shiite religious cleric Moqtada al-Sadr; Asaib Ahl al-Haq (the “League of the Virtuous”); and, lastly, the Iraqi Ketaeb Hezbollah.
The Imam Ali Brigades have distinguished themselves by resorting to extreme violence. The militia, made up of combatants trained in Iran or Lebanon, has faced widening criticism since the release of a YouTube video showing men wearing the Imam Ali Brigades insignia burning a man.