Iranians head to the polls today to choose between “bad and worse” in yet another unfair-and-unfree presidential election. The primary challenger, Ebrahim Raisi – who is considered a frontrunner to succeed Khamenei – has received the support of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – the protector of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s Islamic revolution who have long cast a dark shadow over the country.
The US targets a Bahraini extremist living in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Backed by the Iraqi air force, The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the umbrella organization of diverse militias, launched an offensive this week in Nineveh Province, southwest of Mosul, to capture territory from the Islamic State. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has embedded operatives in the PMF.
An Iranian general from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) this week began his new position as Tehran’s ambassador to Iraq. The selection of Brigadier General Iraj Masjedi, the senior adviser to the commander of the IRGC extraterritorial branch the Qods Force, highlights Tehran’s strategy to assert itself as the dominant foreign power in its western neighbor following the Mosul campaign. Since 2003 all Iranian ambassadors to Iraq have been Qods Force officers.
Qatar recently secured the release of Qatari hostages, including members of the royal family. But its diplomatic victory was marred by reports that a multi-million dollar ransom was paid to a US-designated terrorist group and al Qaeda’s joint venture in Syria.
A photo surfaced on Friday claiming to show Qassem Soleimani, the chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) extraterritorial branch the Qods Force, in the northern countryside of Syria’s central province of Hama. Meanwhile, the IRGC announced the deaths of three additional Guard soldiers including a brigadier general second class in Syria.
Iranian authorities have confirmed that at least two Iranians were killed in combat in Syria’s Hama province. Pro-Assad regime forces have been fighting a major insurgent offensive that was launched by a number of groups in Hama earlier this month.
The Tehran-controlled Iraqi militia Harakat al Nujaba announced today that it is joining pro-Syrian regime forces in Hama province. Insurgents launched a massive offensive in the northern countryside of Hama earlier in the week.