Iranian-backed Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) launched an operation in the western axis of Mosul on Oct. 30, and announced on Nov. 2 that they cut off the Islamic State’s supply route from Mosul to Raqqa. The PMF is advancing towards the town of Tal Afar west of Mosul, which has Sunni Turkmen population.
Indicators suggest that Tehran supports the Houthi anti-ship missile attack against the US Navy this past week. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps held the US directly responsible for the devastating Saudi-led coalition bombing last week in Sanaa, Yemen. The IRGC sought to pressure the US in order to push the Saudis to deescalate the war, calculating that the US wants to avoid more involvement in the war in Yemen.
A major battle has commenced in Aleppo between the array of pro-government and opposition forces that include Sunni and Shiite jihadists. Another high-ranking former IRGC commander has been killed in Syria. Iranian media claim he died while undertaking “advisory mission,” but Guard commanders are engaged in direct combat operations, as well.
Qods Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani was in Tehran today visiting the families of Iranians who lost members in Syria, after a confirmed sighting in Iraqi Kurdistan on Oct. 23.
The Basij Fatehin special forces, an all-volunteer group established following the 2009 post-election protests that serves as a “model” auxiliary unit to the IRGC Ground Forces in Syria, will expand to boost the IRGC’s operational capabilities. The Fatehin commander has proclaimed that the participation of this unit and IRGC-backed foreign proxies in Syria herald the formation of a global Basij, and that the Fatehin is “ready to conquer Israel.”
IRGC-QF Commander Qassem Soleimani was spotted in Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government area yesterday visiting the family of a deceased Kurdish Peshmarga commander. The visit marked the first confirmed sighting of Soleimani in Iraq since the siege of Mosul was launched last week.
Top commanders in the Quds Brigade, a Palestinian militia allied with the Syrian government that operates in Aleppo, have been photographed receiving medals from Russian military officers for battlefield victories.
Two top officials from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force (IRGC-QF) delivered remarks commemorating the most senior IRGC commander killed in Syria last year. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the IRGC-QF, spoke about the strategic importance of Syria, and claimed that the Islamic State was established with the goal of threatening Iran.