At a July 10 ceremony commemorating a Revolutionary Guard commander recently slain in Iraq, Major General Qassem Soleimani hailed victory in Mosul against the Islamic State. Addressing the crowd with the flags of the Islamic Republic, Lebanese Hezbollah, Palestine and Iraq draped behind him, the Qods Force chief praised Iraqi actors, as well as Iran’s material and combat support to Iraq during the war.
Thomas Joscelyn’s testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee’s Task Force on Denying Terrorists Entry into the United States on what happens to the Islamic State after it loses its territory in Iraq and Syria.
Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve said that Iraq’s Iranian-backed militias “deserve a share of the credit for their sacrifices” in the battle to liberate Mosul, yet calls for Iraqis to unite to prevent the return of the Islamic State.
Iraqi Prime Minister Hayder al Abadi arrived in Tehran today to met with senior Iranian government officials, including Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) is an “important and blessed phenomenon,” Khamenei said. “The reason the Americans oppose the popular forces is because they want Iraq to lose its important factor of strength,” he added.
The photos and videos show the extent of the US presence in southern Syria near the border with Iraq. This comes as the Tanf area of southeastern Syria has largely become a flash-point between US and Iranian-controlled forces.
The US government designated two senior Islamic State figures today, saying they are involved in the group’s chemical weapons program. US officials have previously said that so-called caliphate uses a “mustard agent” in its attacks.
The US military noted that it does not seek a fight against pro-Syrian regime militias, but its forces will continue to defend themselves if threatened.
The strike against pro-Syrian government militias is the second in the past month. The US military is training Free Syrian Army-branded militias in the area to battle the Islamic State.