IRGC-controlled Iraqi militia deploys to eastern Damascus battle

The Tehran-controlled Iraqi militia Harakat al Nujaba has announced its participation in a battle raging east of Damascus, joining pro-regime forces in the Jobar and Abbasin districts. Earlier this week, jihadists, Islamists and rebels affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) launched a surprise offensive in the eastern outskirts of the Syrian capital. The al Qaeda-led joint venture Haya’t Tahrir al Sham has a significant role in the insurgent assault and launched several suicide bombings early on in the battle.

Harakat al Nujaba operates as an extension of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Formed in 2013, the militia answers directly to Major General Qassem Soleimani, chief of the Qods Force, which is the IRGC’s extraterritorial branch. Harakat al Nujaba promotes its loyalty to Iran’s Supreme Leader and velayat-e faqih, or “Guardianship of the Jurist,” the Islamic Republic’s founding ideology.

The group is one of several Iraqi militias fighting as part of the IRGC-led foreign legion in Syria, with the intent of defending the holy Shiite Sayyida Zaynab Mosque in Damascus. These forces have been instrumental in preventing the fall of the Syrian regime and have contributed to significant victories, such as the conquest of Aleppo late last year.

Harakat al Nujaba propaganda photos from deployment to eastern Damascus:

Amir Toumaj is a Research Analyst at Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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4 Comments

  • den says:

    Not sure what there is to see here other than the obvious. Wool always leaves me itchy. Told you this months ago but it’s alwats played out as a surprise. When they’re marching on jerusalem it won’t be a surprise, right. People are so disposed with sinking D.T. , that they can’t see what’s been planned for eons. Yeah…laugh….that’s what they want. Go ahead and ignore the truth, I told you what would happen over a year ago. This is ..happening. The shite army is approaching. What do you need to convince you? N.K. and Iranian AND RUSSIAN MISSLES BACKED BY CHINESE..? Are you really that unaware, oh yeah…..I know…I’m a whacko. Yeah, that solves it all.

  • Robert says:

    Toyota pick-ups. The preferred vehicle for armies with small budgets. Reliable , good fuel mileage, rugged .

  • tuffsnotenuff says:

    “Marching on Jerusalem” is a hoot. What’s been happening for most of 75 years is oil money financing attacks on Israel and Jews generally. PLO. HAMAS. ISIS. And there’s not been much happening on either end of that project that’s rational. Bibi blaming Iran for Sunni death cults might could be the single worst part of it.

    Lebanon-Syria-Iraq-Kurdistan-Iran makes for a stable power block. No way an engine for hegemony but enough pulling together to offset the GCC coalition. In fact, for the first time the Middle East sets up with a pair of Muslim blocks where both have reason to seek closer ties with Israel. Egypt made that transition decades ago. Can they move GCC as push comes to shove?

  • Arjuna says:

    Thanks Iran for helping Assad get his country back (and helping Iraq w boots on the ground).
    It’s odd when this writer agrees w IS propaganda, but in this case I sure do: “Iran raised its slogans against the US and Israel to deceive the Sunnis, while Iranian Jews live safely in Iran under its protection, and it has provided them with temples and churches as seen in Tehran and Isfahan.”
    USA-Israel-Russia-Iran v. Saudi-ISIS-Pakistan-AQ
    Now that’s a fight I’d pay to watch!

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis