Iraqi militias – Iraq War News http://iraqwarnews.net/ Thu, 02 Jun 2022 07:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://iraqwarnews.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-120x120.png Iraqi militias – Iraq War News http://iraqwarnews.net/ 32 32 Iraqi militias launch smear campaign against US and UK https://iraqwarnews.net/iraqi-militias-launch-smear-campaign-against-us-and-uk/ Thu, 02 Jun 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://iraqwarnews.net/iraqi-militias-launch-smear-campaign-against-us-and-uk/ Between May 31 and June 1, 2022, several Telegram channels affiliated with Iran-backed militias in Iraq launched a campaign against the new US Ambassador to Iraq, Alina Romanowski; the United States Embassy; attempts to reopen the American consulate in Basra; and a visit by the British Ambassador to Iraq, Mark Bryson-Richardson, to a tribal area […]]]>

Between May 31 and June 1, 2022, several Telegram channels affiliated with Iran-backed militias in Iraq launched a campaign against the new US Ambassador to Iraq, Alina Romanowski; the United States Embassy; attempts to reopen the American consulate in Basra; and a visit by the British Ambassador to Iraq, Mark Bryson-Richardson, to a tribal area in the country. The messages, which blamed US and British influence in Iraq for causing internal unrest, came just days before Ambassador Romanowski was to hand over her diplomatic credentials to Iraqi President Barham Salih on June 2.

Attempt to undermine US Ambassador

On June 1, a Telegram channel that supports Iran-backed militias in Iraq, released information about Ambassador Romanowski intended to undermine her ability to serve as Ambassador to Iraq. He said she had previously worked for the CIA and the Pentagon, had served as US Ambassador to Kuwait, was part of a “team that encouraged the Arab Spring revolts” and that she graduated from Tel Aviv University. He also called her an “expert in domestic incitement and conflict.”

According to the channel, “Her military and intelligence background is evident, as she has worked for the CIA and the Pentagon, in addition to her military background, which includes her father, husband and younger son working for the US military, which raises doubts about the nature of his duties in Iraq.

The channel added: “She revealed her priorities towards Iran a long time ago when she was appointed head of the embassy in Kuwait. His message to [U.S.] House Foreign Affairs Committee [was clear] when she said she would work resolutely and seriously against what she called Iranian infiltration and influence in the region, [while also] claiming that Tehran is destabilizing the security of the region by supporting Ansar Allah [the Houthis] in Yemen, President Bashar Al-Assad in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon. »

The channel concluded that the points mentioned in its message indicate that “one of its most important objectives is to sow discord and unrest and to divide the [people of] Iraq.”

United States Embassy in Baghdad

Another Telegram channel affiliated with Iran-backed militias in Iraq shared a screenshot of a Facebook post from the US Embassy in Baghdad dated June 1, 2011, which promoted a agreement signed between the local government of the province of Baghdad and the American company Alstom to build a 25-kilometer railway line with 16 metro stops to help solve traffic problems in Baghdad.

Suggesting that such a project is unlikely to see the light of day, the channel poked fun at the news by creating an imaginary narrative that read, “Baghdadis will use the elevated train set up by the US company after the Iraq- Brazil which took place in the stadium which was built by Saudi Arabia as a gift to the Iraqi people.”

Prevent the reopening of the American consulate in Basra

On May 31, the secretary general of the Iran-backed Sayyid Al-Shuhada Brigades warned that the United States planned to reopen its consulate in Basra. He tweeted that in the past, the consulate in Basra had used “cheap tools [operatives]who helped sow chaos in southern Iraq and warned that it could happen again. He called on “everyone” to work to prevent the reopening of the consulate.

Accusing the British ambassador of “crossing all borders”

Following the May 30 meeting between British Ambassador to Iraq Mark Bryson-Richardson and tribal leaders in Al-Anbar province, a member of Al-Nujaba Movement’s Political Council warned of the “dangerous role ” that the United Kingdom was playing in Iraq. In a May 31 tweet, he also said the ambassador’s intervention in Iraq’s internal affairs, which he says pits one side against another, crosses all borders. He claimed the UK had already made similar moves with the Iraqi Kurds, saying that “London’s subversive actions to divide Iraq” can be seen once again “in Iraq’s modern history. “.

The full text of this article is available to subscribers.

Please login or register to request subscription information from MEMRI

.

]]>
Pro-Iraqi militia outlet offers free weapons to Palestinians https://iraqwarnews.net/pro-iraqi-militia-outlet-offers-free-weapons-to-palestinians/ Sun, 08 May 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://iraqwarnews.net/pro-iraqi-militia-outlet-offers-free-weapons-to-palestinians/ The following report is now a complementary offering to MEMRI’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, Click here. On May 7, 2022, a Telegram channel that supports Iran-backed militias issued a statement promising free weapons to West Bank residents who need them to carry out terror attacks against Israel. The statement […]]]>

The following report is now a complementary offering to MEMRI’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, Click here.

On May 7, 2022, a Telegram channel that supports Iran-backed militias issued a statement promising free weapons to West Bank residents who need them to carry out terror attacks against Israel. The statement reads: “Do you live in the West Bank and do you want a gun or a pistol? Please note that weapons [are provided] free. Contact us through the bot. We speak Arabic and English.”[1]

It should be noted that the statement does not include the bot address and that there are several known bots associated with the channel.

This statement was issued two days after the terrorist ax attack carried out by two Palestinians from the area near Jenin, against civilian passers-by in the Israeli town of Elad, in which three people were killed and four injured. This attack is the latest in a wave of terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens that began in March 2022.[2]

Since the attacks began, Iraqi militias backed by Iran have vowed they are ready to help the Palestinian people and provide them with ‘whatever is necessary’ until Israel is completely ousted from the region .[3]

The current wave of terrorist attacks has been accompanied by incitement from leaders of the Hamas organization who encourage lone wolf attacks. For example, on April 30, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, urged Arab residents of Israel to carry out lone wolf terror attacks. He said, “Whoever has a gun must prepare it, and whoever does not have a gun must prepare his cleaver, his ax or his knife.”[4]


[1] Telegram, May 7, 2022.

[2] For more information on the wave of terrorist attacks, see MEMRI and MEMRI JTTM reports: Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades Claims Responsibility For April 7, 2022 Shooting Attack In Tel Aviv, Promises Further Escalation Against Israel Targets, April 8, 2022 ; ISIS’s official media claims responsibility for the terrorist attack in Hadera, Israel, on March 27, 2022.

[3] See MEMRI report JTTM: Iran-backed militias in Iraq: We stand ready to help the Palestinian people; Hezbollah Brigades: We consider the perpetrators of the recent attacks in Israel as our own, April 17, 2022.

[4] See MEMRITV clip Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar: We will desecrate synagogues around the world if Al-Aqsa is desecrated; Israel Wants a Religious War – We Accept the Challenge; It Will Burn The Earth, Change The Planet; The Palestinians should carry out lone wolf attacks; Israeli Arabs should prepare their guns, cleavers, axes and knives, April 30, 2022.

The full text of this article is available to subscribers.

Please login or register to request subscription information from MEMRI

.

]]>
Iraqi militias smuggle weapons to Russia via Iran – Middle East Monitor https://iraqwarnews.net/iraqi-militias-smuggle-weapons-to-russia-via-iran-middle-east-monitor/ Wed, 13 Apr 2022 16:43:00 +0000 https://iraqwarnews.net/iraqi-militias-smuggle-weapons-to-russia-via-iran-middle-east-monitor/ Weapons from Iraq are being smuggled into Russia with the help of Iran and its militant groups across the Middle East, a report by The Guardian newspaper has revealed. Citing intelligence sources and members of Iran-backed militias in Iraq, the newspaper reported that a number of heavy weapons – including missile defense systems and anti-tank […]]]>

Weapons from Iraq are being smuggled into Russia with the help of Iran and its militant groups across the Middle East, a report by The Guardian newspaper has revealed.

Citing intelligence sources and members of Iran-backed militias in Iraq, the newspaper reported that a number of heavy weapons – including missile defense systems and anti-tank missiles – were sent to Russia by a land and sea route with the aim of helping Moscow. with its military offensive in Ukraine.

Weapons carried include RPGs [rocket-propelled grenade launchers]Brazilian-designed rocket launcher systems, an Iranian-made Bavar 373 missile system, as well as a Russian-made S-300 air defense system.

According to the newspaper, which cites a militia commander who helped with the transport, the weapons – which came from the Popular Mobilization Forces, the umbrella group of Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq, first crossed the Iraqi border to Iran via the Salamja border post on March 26. They were then received by the Iranian army and transported by sea to Russia.

An example of one of the shipments was cited by the newspaper as involving three cargo ships – two Russian-flagged and one Iranian-flagged – carrying the heavy loads and crossing the Caspian Sea from the northern port of Bandar Anzali. Iran, at the Russian port of Astrakhan. .

Iran’s Supreme Leader Criticizes US Over Ukraine Crisis

A PMF source told the newspaper that the main reason they help smuggle arms into Russia is because “anything anti-American makes us happy.” Another reason, however, is that “we don’t care where the heavy weapons go” because they don’t need them right now.

The Russian forces, however, badly need it. According to Yörük Işık, an Istanbul-based maritime affairs expert quoted by the Guardian, “What the Russians need in Ukraine right now are missiles. These require skill to transport them because they are fragile and explosives…Also not the kind of activity that would be picked up by satellite imagery as they can be carried in large boxes and regular shipping containers.”

As for Iran’s main motive for covertly assisting Russian forces in their invasion of Ukraine, it would be due to the potentially disastrous impact that a Russian defeat would have on Iran, particularly in Syria. Despite Tehran’s and Moscow’s subtle rivalry in Syria, where both vie for more control over the country and influence over Bashar Al-Assad’s regime, their overall interests and goals are interconnected in the form of their “axis of resistance” against Western hegemony.

As Mohaned Hage Ali, a researcher at the Carnegie Middle East Center, said: “If Putin’s regime is destabilized, it has huge implications for Iran, especially in Syria, where Damascus depends on Russian air support and the Russia coordinates to avoid direct conflict between them and Israel. »

The “Axis of Resistance” is hypocritical, not “anti-imperialist”

]]>
Sadr calls for majority government and “liquidation” of Iraqi militias https://iraqwarnews.net/sadr-calls-for-majority-government-and-liquidation-of-iraqi-militias/ Thu, 18 Nov 2021 21:47:55 +0000 https://iraqwarnews.net/sadr-calls-for-majority-government-and-liquidation-of-iraqi-militias/ In the political deadlock that followed the Iraqi elections of October 10, the Iraqi president Barham Salih welcomed a meeting with Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Council Faiq Zaidan on November 18 at Baghdad Palace in the Green Zone. “The participants discussed an initiative to resolve the current political […]]]>


In the political deadlock that followed the Iraqi elections of October 10, the Iraqi president Barham Salih welcomed a meeting with Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Council Faiq Zaidan on November 18 at Baghdad Palace in the Green Zone.

“The participants discussed an initiative to resolve the current political crisis, which will be presented to the political forces in a way that paves the way for the formation of an effective government serving the interests of the people and protecting the supreme interests of the country. “, we read in a press release from the Iraqi presidency.

Details of the initiative have not yet been announced. But the big picture of the initiative emerges from recent statements by Salih, Kadhimi and Zaidan.

Chief Justice Zaidan confirmed the the integrity of the October elections, claiming that “there is no legal evidence to prove” that they were rigged.

The Independent Electoral Commission has received hundreds of complaints. Only a few were identified as valid, resulting in a very minor change in the election results.

The complaint review process has been rechecked by a judicial team under the supervision of the Judicial Council, and the final results are expected to be confirmed by the Federal Court next week.

The President and the Prime Minister also affirmed the need to submit to legal proceedings any complaint concerning the results of the elections.

It was then that members of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and some of their supporters blocked a door to the green zone and also gathered in front of another door that leads to most government buildings and foreign embassies. The demonstrators demand the cancellation of the election results and the holding of a new election with a new electoral commission.

The protests have become violent, killing two and injuring more than 150 so far. The majority of the injured are security forces who were attacked by demonstrators with stones, wood and other objects.

A drone attack on the Prime Minister’s house came as part of pressure on the government to comply with protesters’ demands. Instead, the attack reinforced support for the government, the Prime Minister and even for the election results – which were welcomed by the United Nations and also by the Security Council.

In response to protests against the election results, leader of the Sadrist movement Muqtada al-Sadr, which won the most seats in the election, confirmed at a press conference on October 18 that he is ready to form a majority government.

Sadr met two weeks ago the Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbusi, who obtained the majority of Sunni votes and 34 seats, as well as a delegation from the Kurdistan Democratic Party, which obtained the majority of Kurdish votes and 37 seats.

The final results have not been officially announced as they require federal court approval. So the above number can be changed very slightly.

The meeting was read as an intention to form a coalition for the next government, meaning that the political wings of PMU and their allies will be out of government.

Sadr’s meeting with Halbusi and the delegation of the Kurdistan Democratic Party led to the violence of the demonstrators, as they saw it as an attempt to form a majority government and to withdraw the PMU and its allies from the new government.

It appears that Sadr is now trying to confront his political rivals with political reality, confirming that he is not ready to give up or show tolerance towards them.

“All have witnessed the integrity of the recent elections,” Sadr said at his press conference. “We are seeking to form a government with a national majority. “

Sadr also tried to put the ball in his rival’s court, calling for the disarmament of militias outside the PMU.

“I call for the liquidation of the unruly elements of PMU,” he said. “All armed factions must be dissolved and disarmed immediately – their weapons must be turned over to PMFs supervised by the commander-in-chief [of the military forces (Kadhimi)]. “

Sadr’s statement strongly rocked the political scene, as the political wings of the PMU and their allies, which formed the post-election coordination framework, called for an immediate meeting on the evening of November 18 at the home of the leader of the Hikma block, Sayyed Ammar. Hakim to discuss a response to Sadr’s press conference.

It seems that going forward with a majority government, as Sadr wishes, will be very difficult in this environment, and the next government will most likely be a consensus government, like all previous governments after 2003.


]]>
Iraqi militias: US behind assassination attempt on prime minister https://iraqwarnews.net/iraqi-militias-us-behind-assassination-attempt-on-prime-minister/ Mon, 08 Nov 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://iraqwarnews.net/iraqi-militias-us-behind-assassination-attempt-on-prime-minister/ The following report is now an add-on to MEMRI’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, Click here. On November 7, 2021, a Telegram channel affiliated with Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, published a series of posters accusing the United States of orchestrating the attempted assassination of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, perpetrated […]]]>


The following report is now an add-on to MEMRI’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, Click here.

On November 7, 2021, a Telegram channel affiliated with Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, published a series of posters accusing the United States of orchestrating the attempted assassination of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, perpetrated That day. using a drone equipped with explosives.[1]

Entitled “The Assassination Attempt on Al-Kadhimi – Obvious US Fingerprints,” the posters are an example of these militias’ efforts to refute accusations that they were behind the assassination attempt.

“The United States tries to cover up the crime of Al-Kadhimi of ordering the killing of peaceful protesters”

A poster claimed that the drone attack on Al-Kadhimi’s home only took place a day after clashes between Iraqi security forces and supporters of Iranian-backed militias, describing the events as “crimes against peaceful civilian protesters in Tahrir Square, where Iraqi security forces fired live ammunition at protesters, killing four martyrs and injuring 125 others.” The posters also alleged that security forces “had set fire to [protesters’] tents. “

Supporters of Iranian-backed militias have been demonstrating for weeks near Baghdad‘s green zone, expressing their rejection of the results of the recent parliamentary elections, in which some pro-Iranian parties lost many seats.

The poster claimed that Al-Kahdimi had given the order to shoot the demonstrators and that “there is an American will to cover up this crime” and to save Al-Kadhimi by “presenting him as a victim”.

A screenshot of a video game Description automatically generated with medium confidence

“US wants to divert public attention from requests for recounting of votes”

The second poster in the series explained that “the United States is trying to distract the public from the protesters’ demand for a manual ballot recount.”

He further accused the United States of attempting to obstruct the formation of a parliamentary bloc loyal to the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and resistance factions. By preventing the formation of such a bloc, the poster said, “the United States will be able to impose its agenda on the Council of Representatives and on Iraq.”

An image containing text, indoorDescription automatically generated

“The United States is trying to blame the PMU for the assassination attempt in Iran”

The third poster in the series claimed that Washington was seeking to wreak havoc in Iraq by stoking sectarian strife and pushing the country into a “trap of discord.”

He adds that the United States plans to attribute the responsibility for the assassination attempt, and more broadly for the security instability in Iraq, on the PMU, recalling that the drones used in the attack on Al-Kadhimi belong to militias and Iranian.

An image containing text, person, exterior Description automatically generated

“The United States wants to justify an international intervention against the PMU”

The fourth poster claimed that “creating such chaos will provide a pretext for foreign troops to stay in Iraq, despite claims from Washington that it plans to withdraw its forces by the end of the year.” He went on to say that this would also serve as a pretext for “international intervention” in Iraq.

Automatically generated TextDescription

“Why didn’t the US Embassy radar system intercept the drones targeting Al-Kadhimi’s residence?” “

In its fifth poster, the channel asked why the US Embassy, ​​which has a C-RAM system, used to detect and destroy incoming rockets, was not activated to intercept the drones that targeted the residence of ‘Al-Kadhimi. The poster claims it blames the United States as being involved in the drone attack.

“The United States is behind the instability in the region”

The latest poster concluded the series by asserting that the United States has no intention of reducing its involvement in the Middle East, and that even as it reduces its military presence in the region, Washington plans to continue orchestrating the political and security instability.

Automatically generated TextDescription


[1] Telegram, November 7, 2021.


]]>
Iraqi militias continue to threaten US forces in Iraq https://iraqwarnews.net/iraqi-militias-continue-to-threaten-us-forces-in-iraq/ Wed, 03 Nov 2021 15:30:01 +0000 https://iraqwarnews.net/iraqi-militias-continue-to-threaten-us-forces-in-iraq/ The following report is now a MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) offering. For JTTM subscription information, Click here. In the first days of November 2021, two Telegrams Channels supporting Iranian-backed militias in Iraq have published posters threatening US forces in Iraq. A poster, which aired on November 2, 2021 on the Murad Telegram […]]]>


The following report is now a MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) offering. For JTTM subscription information, Click here.

In the first days of November 2021, two Telegrams Channels supporting Iranian-backed militias in Iraq have published posters threatening US forces in Iraq.

A poster, which aired on November 2, 2021 on the Murad Telegram channel, depicts the American flag in flames with Arabic and English text that reads: “Vengeance is Coming.” The poster was shared with the hashtag # 59daysleft, which at the time was the number of days left until the end of 2021, when US President Joe Biden designated for the US military’s withdrawal from Iraq.[1]

A poster published on November 3, 2021 by the Sabereen News Telegram channel was clearly inspired by the Netflix series “Squid Game”, a South Korean drama in which a secret international elite offers those burdened with debt a chance to make money. if they play. and win the schoolyard matches, with the catch as the losers are shot on the spot. Suspenseful, brutal and exciting, and embodying the universal themes of inequality, greed and oppression, with apparently over 142 million viewers, the show is Netflix’s most-watched series to date. The poster uses elements of a scene from “Squid Game” in which the contestants play the children’s game Red Light / Green Light, and depicts American soldiers, several of whom are lying dead and bleeding on the ground, engaged in the game. The accompanying message in English reads: “Coming soon.[2] This is not the first time that Telegram channels supporting Iranian-backed militias have designed menacing posters using elements from Netflix’s highly popular violent series.[3]

The context for the posters’ publication is the current situation where Shiite groups in Iraq are stepping up threats to attack U.S. forces in the country if they do not withdraw by the end of 2021.[4] Meanwhile, attacks on US forces logistics support convoys in Iraq continue.[5]


[1] Telegram, November 2, 2021.

[2] Telegram, November 2, 2021.


]]>
Iraqi militias claim to attack eight US logistics convoys in 24 hours https://iraqwarnews.net/iraqi-militias-claim-to-attack-eight-us-logistics-convoys-in-24-hours/ Thu, 26 Aug 2021 15:57:00 +0000 https://iraqwarnews.net/iraqi-militias-claim-to-attack-eight-us-logistics-convoys-in-24-hours/ Middle East 18:57 GMT 26.08.2021(updated at 19:07 GMT on 26.08.2021) Get a short url Shiite militias allied with Baghdad in Iraq expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s recently signed US Forces Agreement, which allows a limited contingent of US troops to remain in the country, and insisted on that all US personnel, including trainers and elements […]]]>


Middle East

Get a short url

Shiite militias allied with Baghdad in Iraq expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s recently signed US Forces Agreement, which allows a limited contingent of US troops to remain in the country, and insisted on that all US personnel, including trainers and elements of the United States Air Force, leave the country immediately.

Shiite militias targeted up to eight US logistics convoys in a single day, Sabreen News, alleged a media affiliated with the militias.

The series of suspected attacks reportedly took place on Tuesday, with convoys targeted in the Nasiriyah and Samawah areas in southeast Iraq, and two more were attacked in al-Diwaniyah, capital of al province. -Qadisiyyah, in the southeast. Two improvised explosive device attacks were reported in Babil province, with a US military logistics convoy targeted in Yusufiyah district of Baghdad, other vehicles attacked in al-Taji and two other convoys hit in the provinces. al-Muthana and Dhi Qar.

Qasem al-Jabbarin (lit. “Smasher of the Oppressors”), an obscure militia force that US officials say is a front for Kataib Hezbollah specializing in roadside bombings, claimed responsibility attacks. The United States classifies Kataib Hezbollah as a “terrorist organization” and has repeatedly attacked militant facilities in Iraq and Syria, drawing condemnation from officials in Baghdad and Damascus.

According to Arabic-language media ISWNews, Tuesday’s attacks resulted in the total number of strikes against US logistics convoys in Iraq up to 130 since March.

The Pentagon has not commented on the alleged attacks.

Qasem al-Jabbarin released images showing what appear to be multiple roadside explosions near convoys of tankers and trucks traveling along the highways. Sputnik has not been able to verify the footage to determine that it was filmed when and where the militias claim it was.

Shiite militias have long targeted U.S. supply convoys, with attacks typically affecting supply convoys, but also troops and equipment fleets, and columns of trucks entering the country from Syria in the west and south. Kuwait to the south. The United States regularly transports military vehicles and trucks loaded with stolen Syrian oil and wheat through the illegal al-Waleed crossing point between western Iraq and southern Syria.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and US President Joe Biden reached a deal last month whereby all US fighting forces would be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of 2021, with some US troops allowed to stay for a “training, advising, assisting and intelligence-sharing role. The two sides did not say how many US troops would remain in the new year, or whether any of the existing” combat troops “would be renamed for other roles in the coming months.

Some Iraqi Shiite militias have expressed dissatisfaction with the troop withdrawal agreement, demanding that all U.S. forces, including trainers and all U.S. Air Force personnel, also leave the country.

The United States has significantly reduced the number of its troops in Iraq since 2020 and the consequences of the unprovoked assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad in January of the same year, which prompted Shiite militias to strike on American bases. with artillery and led the Iraqi parliament to issue a resolution demanding that all troops leave the country. Between March 2020 and January 2021, the number of US troops in Iraq increased from 5,300 to 2,500 in total. The Trump administration has indicated that the United States may leave Iraq completely by the end of 2020, but the Biden administration has frozen those plans pending negotiations on a new “security partnership” with Baghdad.

The United States has now had forces in Iraq for fifteen of the past eighteen years, invading the country in 2003 and withdrawing troops in 2011. In 2014, the rise of Daesh terrorists (ISIS) * gave the United States – United a pretext to return. Daesh was defeated in 2017, but US forces remained, with Washington justifying its presence by the alleged threat posed by the reconstituting terrorist group.


* A terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.



]]>
IS kills 3 Iraqi militias https://iraqwarnews.net/is-kills-3-iraqi-militias/ Sun, 22 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://iraqwarnews.net/is-kills-3-iraqi-militias/ TIKRIT: Three fighters from a pro-Iranian militia were killed in Iraq on Friday when the Islamic State (IS) group attacked their base near Baghdad, a paramilitary and a security source said. The men were from the Nujaba movement, part of the Hashed al-Shaabi coalition of Shiite militias that primarily support Iran. Both sources said they […]]]>


TIKRIT: Three fighters from a pro-Iranian militia were killed in Iraq on Friday when the Islamic State (IS) group attacked their base near Baghdad, a paramilitary and a security source said.

The men were from the Nujaba movement, part of the Hashed al-Shaabi coalition of Shiite militias that primarily support Iran.

Both sources said they were killed in an IS attack on their base in Tarmiya, north of Baghdad, and seven other fighters were injured.

Formed in 2014 to support the Iraqi army in its fight against IS jihadists, the Hashed controlled large swathes of the country at the time but have since been integrated into the armed forces.

In recent months, the anti-American movement has welcomed the attacks on American interests in Iraq, without claiming responsibility.

The United States and Israel fear that some Hashed units are under Iranian orders rather than the Iraqi chain of command.

Some ISIS jihadist cells remained active even after Iraq declared the jihadist group defeated in 2017, notably in the Tarmiya region and the deserts of northern Iraq.

They attacked the Iraqi security forces as well as the Hached and other Shiites, who form the majority of Muslims in Iraq but are considered by ISIS to be apostates.

Last month, ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 30 people at a market in the densely populated Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad.


]]>
Soleimani’s assassination was supposed to weaken the Iraqi militias. Instead, they flex their muscles. https://iraqwarnews.net/soleimanis-assassination-was-supposed-to-weaken-the-iraqi-militias-instead-they-flex-their-muscles/ Wed, 04 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://iraqwarnews.net/soleimanis-assassination-was-supposed-to-weaken-the-iraqi-militias-instead-they-flex-their-muscles/ Atop a scene on the left, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi greeted the saluting troops as they passed, flanked by senior PMF leaders who had largely avoided appearing in public since the fateful state strike -United. The show was a show of force intended not only to mark an anniversary, but also to signal the […]]]>


Atop a scene on the left, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi greeted the saluting troops as they passed, flanked by senior PMF leaders who had largely avoided appearing in public since the fateful state strike -United.

The show was a show of force intended not only to mark an anniversary, but also to signal the recovery of the paramilitaries after the setback suffered by the assassinations of Soleimani and Mohandis, and the groups’ determination to push back the US military presence in Iraq.

“It was a message to those who were trying to weaken and dismantle the PMF, including America,” said Jaafar al-Husseini, the military spokesman for Kataib Hezbollah, one of the groups backed by the PMF. Iran within the PMF whom the United States accuses of targeting its forces.

“The message is that the PMF is here to stay and that it is developing in terms of equipment, training and institutionalization,” Husseini told POLITICO in a rare interview in his Baghdad office, adorned with photos of Soleimani, Mohandis and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah. Ali Khamenei.

The PMF’s military parade has been closely watched by US officials, who are grappling with a new wave of militia attacks on US facilities in Iraq.

“They certainly have a lot more money and they have a lot [more] weapons, ”a US official with extensive knowledge of Iraq told POLITICO when asked to compare the capabilities of the PMF today and two years ago. The official, like several other interviewees for this article, spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive topics.

Since the assassinations of Soleimaini and Mohandis, Iranian-backed militias within the PMF have mobilized to avenge the deaths of their leaders and have found more sophisticated ways to target the US-led military coalition further. besieged in Iraq, according to Iraqi and American officials, militia leaders and regional experts. These changes suggest that the assassinations, the The Trump administration has claimed would establish “real deterrence” against the militias, failed to prevent further attacks on US troops.

Instead, the strike plunged Iraq into a new round of instability as militias intensified and expanded their operations, while consolidating their grip on power within the loose PMF group. On two occasions this year, the Biden administration has ordered strikes against Iranian-backed militias in retaliation for attacks on US forces.

The fallout has exposed the limits of Iraqi security forces to control the increasingly powerful and well-resourced militias as the United States reduces its military presence in Iraq. Last week, Kadhimi and US President Joe Biden agreed to withdraw US “combat troops” from Iraq after seven years of fighting ISIS there – a largely symbolic decision, as most troops will be reclassified in non-combatant roles. Ahead of the announcement, the US official described the impending move as a “face-saving” strategy for Kadhimi, who has come under pressure from Iran-backed groups to completely withdraw foreign troops from Iraq.

Iraqi officials say the inability to anticipate the consequences of the assassinations indicates the US government’s limited understanding of the country’s complex internal dynamics. They believe the killings motivated militias to step up attacks on US and Iraqi targets, making an already fragile Iraq even more unstable.

PMF was formed in 2014, and initially found success in the fight against ISIS alongside US forces and the coalition. But after ISIS’s territorial defeat in 2017, latent differences between Iranian-backed militias and US forces began to spill over.

The January 2020 strike on Soleimani’s convoy near Baghdad airport was the culmination of months of growing US-Iran tensions in the region, most of which took place on Iraqi soil.

At the end of 2019, a series of attacks between the United States and Iran-backed groups left one American entrepreneur and 27 Kataib Hezbollah fighters dead. The deaths of the militiamen prompted an angry mob to burn down and vandalize the exterior doors of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad during a two-day siege over New Year’s Eve. Days after drone strike killed Soleimani and Mohandis, more than 100 US servicemen seeking refuge in bunkers suffered brain damage when Iran fired retaliatory missiles at a base in western Iraq.

Then President Donald Trump noted the strike against Soleimani aimed to “stop a war” and was based on intelligence that the commander was planning imminent attacks against US interests. But no evidence to support these claims has been made public. A UN investigation later, the deaths of the two leaders and the eight others killed by the strike were described as “illegal”.

The unilateral action on Iraqi soil sparked a backlash against the American presence. After the assassinations, the Iraqi parliament voted to overthrow all US and coalition troops. The United States subsequently reduced its strength from 5,000 to 2,500 and consolidated its presence in fewer bases. Although coalition officials said the pullout was planned because anti-ISIS operations were ending, the two assassinations made the coalition presence more difficult to maintain, putting US troops at risk of retaliation and tending to US-Iraqi ties.

A complete withdrawal of the remaining 2,500 soldiers is under discussion at ongoing negotiations between Washington and Baghdad. The recent announcement to reclassify US operations as non-combat operations will allow US trainers and advisers to remain on the ground, while allowing Kadhimi to show he is following through on parliament’s decision to oust foreign troops .

Even as the political aftershocks As the murders of Soleimani and Mohandis continue to complicate the US presence in Iraq, they appear to have turned against them in their original objective: to prevent Iranian-backed militias from attacking US forces.

As part of the groups’ efforts to reaffirm their strength, leaders and analysts point to the increased militia attacks not only on US interests, but also on Iraqi activists, analysts, protest leaders and security officials. The Iraqi Human Rights Commission has documented 81 assassination attempts since October 2019, of which 34 were successful. The UN has published several reports detailing crimes against protesters and critics by militias.

“Their operations have increased,” said a senior Iraqi government official who is not authorized to speak to the press. The official noted that as part of a campaign to subvert the state, militias are now openly show their strength in the streets, including through newly formed vigilante groups. These measures undermined US efforts to support Kadhimi’s government and further eroded public confidence in the Iraqi state‘s ability to assert the rule of law.

“It is a threat because these forces weaken Iraq”, admitted the American official.

These campaigns are a sign that the disappearance of Mohandis and Soleimani did not hamper the tactical capabilities of the paramilitaries, even though their deaths left a leadership vacuum that reduced Iranian influence in Iraq.

“You cannot underestimate the damage the killing of people like Soleimani and Mohandis has done to Iranian strategy in the region,” said Hamdi Malik, an associate researcher at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, which monitors the activities of the militias in Iraq.

“However,” he added, “now that [the PMF] is part of the state and to a large extent financially independent, their organizational capacities are improving.

The PMF was nominally incorporated into the Iraqi security forces by a 2016 law and a 2018 decree. This official status enabled its factions to gain legitimacy, weaponry and public funds. The government budget allocation for PMF was $ 2.5 billion in 2021, an increase of 45.7% compared to 2019.

Some groups within the PMF also used their military power to take control lucrative sectors of the economy. Although data on their business activities is scarce, the additional resources have enabled them to become more financially and operationally independent from Tehran.

“They don’t need the same support from Iran,” says Malik.


]]>
Iran calls on Iraqi militias to attack US, as Pentagon asserts right to self-defense https://iraqwarnews.net/iran-calls-on-iraqi-militias-to-attack-us-as-pentagon-asserts-right-to-self-defense/ Wed, 14 Jul 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://iraqwarnews.net/iran-calls-on-iraqi-militias-to-attack-us-as-pentagon-asserts-right-to-self-defense/ WASHINGTON, DC (Kurdistan 24) – On Tuesday, Reuters reported that Hossein Taeb, intelligence chief of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), visited Baghdad last week and “urged Iraqi Shiite militias to step up their attacks on US targets ”in retaliation for US airstrikes against militias on June 27 along the Syrian-Iraqi border. Read more: US […]]]>


WASHINGTON, DC (Kurdistan 24) – On Tuesday, Reuters reported that Hossein Taeb, intelligence chief of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), visited Baghdad last week and “urged Iraqi Shiite militias to step up their attacks on US targets ”in retaliation for US airstrikes against militias on June 27 along the Syrian-Iraqi border.

Read more: US launches limited airstrikes against Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria

These rather limited-in-scope US airstrikes were undertaken in immediate response to an attempted drone attack on Baghdad the previous week and a drone attack on the outskirts of Erbil province on June 26.

Read more: Drone attack targets outskirts of Erbil province

These two attacks followed a series of drone strikes by Iranian-backed militias: an April 14 attack on a CIA hangar at Erbil International Airport; a May 8 attack on Ain al-Asad air base in Anbar province, western Iraq; and a May 11 strike on a second installation in the Kurdistan region: Harir airfield, north of Erbil, which houses the JSOC, the US special operations command.

Read more: Pro-Iran militias using “more sophisticated weapons” against US forces in Iraq

A Lebanese American who worked as a translator for the US special forces and who was based in Erbil was recently sentenced by a US court to 23 years in prison for spying for the benefit of Lebanese Hezbollah. She probably provided the coordinates that enabled Iranian-backed militias to target the two sensitive US military sites in the Kurdistan region.

According to the Reuters report, Taeb “advised the Iraqis not to go too far” by attacking the United States “to avoid a great escalation.”

Asked about the story later on Tuesday, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby affirmed President Joe Biden’s “strong commitment to protecting the safety and security of our personnel in Iraq.”

“You’ve seen us act in the past in this regard, and we still retain the right of self-defense,” Kirby continued. “How and when we exercise this right is up to the commander-in-chief”, but the attacks are “potentially fatal, and we take them seriously”.

Last Wednesday, the Ain al-Asad air base was again attacked with 14 rockets, causing minor injuries.

Read more: 14 rockets hit the Ain al-Asad air base in western Iraq; reported injuries: Coalition

Reuters contradicts previous PA report

On July 9, two days after the attack, the Associated Press (AP) published an article that was the exact opposite of Tuesday’s Reuters report. AP claimed that Esmail Ghaani, Qasim Soleimani’s successor as head of the IRGC’s Quds Force, visited Baghdad last month and told militias he supports to exercise restraint, until the conclusion of nuclear talks between the United States and Iran.

According to AP, the militia leaders rejected Ghaani’s leadership. They claimed that “they could not remain silent” and had to avenge the deaths of Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, who died alongside the Iranian in the US strike. of January 2020 which targeted it.

Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior researcher at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, where he works on Iran, credits the Reuters report rather than the PA report.

Ben Taleblu told Kurdistan 24 that he was “very skeptical” of the PA report when it came out. He noted that attacks by Iranian-backed militias in Iraq against US targets peaked in August 2020. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo then made very serious threats: shutting down the US embassy in Baghdad and relocating them. operations in Erbil.

US military action would follow and “liquidate all those found to be involved in these acts,” Pompeo reportedly warned.

Read more: U.S. to close Baghdad embassy, ​​but keep Erbil consulate open

The militias, with the support of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for a truce that pretty much lasted for the rest of the Trump administration.

After the Biden administration took office, the attacks resumed. He retaliated twice by hitting militia targets along the Iraqi-Syrian border. His deliberate, understated, and proportionate response stands in stark contrast to Pompeo’s dramatic threat.

Ben Taleblu, criticizing the PA report, noted the inconsistency between the militias’ months-long truce following Pompeo’s stern warning and the claim that last month the militias rejected the Ghaani’s call for restraint until the conclusion of nuclear talks.

“All of a sudden, they feel obligated to respond to Muhandis [death]Asked Ben Taleblu. “I don’t see the situation like that at all.

Ben Taleblu still believes that most of the Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria only attack US targets if this is acceptable to Iran. The idea that Tehran told them to withdraw and that they refused seemed implausible to him, while he stressed that Tehran feared only one thing: “the threat of military force”. As he noted, the Reuters report is “consistent with Iran’s understanding of the dynamics of escalation.”

Indeed, the Biden administration does not appear to have created the basis for deterrence, but rather the “tit-for-tat”, with every modest American response being absorbed by the militias and their Iranian support, who will undoubtedly respond with more. attacks in the future.


]]>