Author Archives: Amir Toumaj

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

Iraqi PMF attempts to cut off Islamic State in Mosul

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.


Why Iran supported Houthi attacks against the US Navy

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.


IRGC commander killed on eve of Aleppo battle

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.



IRGC to expand Basij special forces

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.”


Qassem Soleimani spotted in Iraq’s KRG territory

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.



Qassem Soleimani: Islamic State was created to fight Iran

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.