Coalition forces capture Hezbollah Brigades operative in Baghdad


Hezbollah-brigades-logo.jpg

Hezbollah Brigades' logo is nearly identical to that of Lebanese Hezbollah.

Coalition special operations forces captured two members of the Iranian-supported Hezbollah Brigades during a raid in eastern Baghdad on early Thursday morning. The intelligence-driven raid targeted the home of a propaganda cell member, Multinational Forces Iraq reported. The cell member was responsible for videotaping Hezbollah Brigades attacks on US and Iraqi forces in Baghdad.

"This propaganda cell is suspected of making, videos of attacks on Coalition and Iraqi forces, which are then used to raise funds and resources for additional attacks against Coalition forces and Iraqis," the US military stated in a press release.

While the exact neighborhood in Baghdad was not identified, Multinational Forces Iraq often referred to the New Baghdad district as east Baghdad. On July 21, Coalition forces captured a member of a Hezbollah Brigades propaganda cell who was responsible for uploading attack videos to the Internet in New Baghdad.

The Hezbollah Brigades, or the Kata'ib Hezbollah, has been active for more than a year, Sergeant Susan James, a Public Affairs NCO for Multinational Forces Iraq told The Long War Journal. Multinational Forces Iraq said the group receives support from Iran and is an "offshoot of Iranian-trained Special Groups." The US military has referred to the Iranian-backed elements of the Mahdi Army as the Special Groups. The Hezbollah Brigades is "a separate and independent organization from Special Groups," said James.

"We believe that Hezbollah Brigades does receive support from Iran," James said. "That support likely includes funding, training, logistics, and material." Iran's Qods Force funds, trains, arms, and supports Mahdi Army operatives to facilitate attacks on Coalition and Iraqi forces.

The logo used by the Hezbollah Brigades is nearly an exact match of the one used by Lebanese Hezbollah, which is directly supported by Iran. The logo shows an arm extended vertically, with the fist grasping an AK-47 assault rifle. US forces captured Ali Mussa Daqduq inside Iraq in early 2007. Daqduq is a senior Hezbollah commander who was tasked with setting up the Mahdi Army Special Groups along the same lines as the Lebanese terror group.

The Hezbollah Brigades began uploading videos of attacks on US and Iraqi forces this year. The group has claimed responsibility for the July 8 improvised rocket-assisted mortar, or IRAM, attack on Joint Security Station Ur in northeastern Baghdad [see video]. One US soldier and one interpreter were wounded after eight of the makeshift "flying IEDs" detonated near the outpost. Shia terror groups have launched a handful of IRAM attacks on US and Iraqi outposts in Baghdad.

The IRAM is a civilian truck converted to fire four to 10 rigged mortars on outposts at distances from 150 to 400 yards. The weapon has had little impact on US and Iraqi forces operating in Baghdad, but the US military is concerned about the weapon's potential to cause a mass-casualty incident.

Hezbollah Brigades also posted video of an attack on a US patrol with an Iranian-supplied, armor-piercing, explosively formed projectile, or EFP.

The operation to capture the Hezbollah Brigades propaganda cell members is the latest in a series of raids against Shia terrorists. Scores of Special Groups operatives have been captured over the past month, including senior leaders, weapons smugglers, financiers, trainers, and cell leaders.


For more information on improvised rocket-assisted mortars, see: Mahdi Army uses "flying IEDs" in Baghdad.



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READER COMMENTS: "Coalition forces capture Hezbollah Brigades operative in Baghdad"

Posted by C. Jordan at July 31, 2008 10:35 AM ET:

Coalition special operations forces are doing a fantastic job. Another great catch!

Iran's feet needs to be held to the fire, as evidence of their meddling is piling up. Too bad more can't be done in Lebanon. Soon it will be time to go after the head of the hydra.

Posted by mjr007 at July 31, 2008 10:58 AM ET:

Great intel victory for the good guys. Keep it up.

Posted by ST333 at July 31, 2008 2:01 PM ET:

Nice grab but we need to start making things go boom inside Iran....covertly of course, but obvious enough that the message gets across

Posted by Buff52 at July 31, 2008 4:13 PM ET:

In 1983 Hezbollah killed approximately 300 U.S. Marines in the airport barracks at Beirut, Lebanon using a truck bomb.

Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger cancelled the U.S. Navy air strike against the Hezbollah staging base in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon so as not to offend Arab Muslim States.

The United States of America has yet to engage Hezbollah in an effective way.

Hezbollah has taken over Lebanon. Hezbollah is an instrument of the Iranian Ayatollahs.

When will the United States use it's creativity, spiritual, and material resources to stop evil doing by Hezbollah?

Posted by Alex at July 31, 2008 4:41 PM ET:

The only one who was willing to engage Hezbollah directly has been Israel, and the 2006 war didn't end up that well.

I think though, we may see Iraq start taking a more aggressive tone with Iran and its puppets. In the past, the post-2003 governments have tried to placate, simply because they couldn't really do anything even if they wanted to. Now, Iraq is getting closer to having a real army and also much greater economic strength when the Kurdish oil wells come online. The memories of Iranian interference are still fresh in their mind. We'll have to see though what happens.

Posted by ward at October 19, 2009 1:32 PM ET:

IMO we 've got enough proof of Iran's involvement despite the regime's denials.

We have captured enough- I suggest that we keep killing them by the truckloads-paint their locations and wage peace through superior fire power from land sea and air. Wars are won by killing people