Special Groups active in Iraqi south


Logo for the Hezbollah Brigades from a propaganda video released on the Internet.

The Iranian-backed Shia terror groups collectively known as the Special Groups (a term coined by US forces in 2007) have stepped up attacks in the Iraqi south, according to reports from the region. An official told Voices of Iraq that the Hezbollah Brigades are behind the recent strikes in Thi Qhar province, which is just north of the Iraqi province of Basrah.

There is an increase in the armed activities of the Hezbollah Battalions [note, this is the Hezbollah Brigades] in Thi-Qhar, a security source from the province said on Wednesday.

“The Hezbollah Battalions are planting more roadside bombs and launching more rockets,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Recently, there has been an increase in armed attacks in Thi-Qhar. Seven attacks have been so far reported during the holy month of Ramadan against U.S. forces and the Provincial Reconstruction Team (P.R.T) in the province.

This report tracks with a statement from a US Forces – Iraq spokesman that was given on Sept. 6:

The U.S. army on Monday announced that there is an increase in the attacks that targeted its convoys during Ramadan, according to a spokesperson of the U.S. army.

“There is an increase in the attacks on the U.S. army convoys during Ramadan compared to the previous months,” Major Alan Brown told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Abu Dura, the “Shiite Zarqawi.”

There has also been an uptick in reports of attacks in Basrah. On Sunday, five “gunmen” were killed in Basrah after attacking a US convoy.

The US military has warned that attacks from Iranian-backed Shia terror groups would increase. In July, General Odierno, then the commander of US Forces Iraq, noted that the Hezbollah Brigades continues to be a threat to US forces and the Iraqi government, as Iran continues to train, arm, and fund its cadres. Later that month, Odierno noted that Iran continues to support the Hezbollah Brigades as well as the League of the Righteous (or Asaib al Haq), the Mahdi Army spin-off Promised Day Brigade. Also, in mid-August, an Iraqi intelligence official stated that Abu Dura, the “Shiite Zarqawi,” has returned to Baghdad to step up attacks.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • blert says:

    YouTube is LOADED with videos from these guys.
    Interestingly, their material is full of Sunni assaults in al Anbar!
    Strange for a bunch of anti-Sunni Shi’ites.

  • madashell59 says:

    Why can’t we just say we are at war with Iran? And everywhere we are fighting is for control over the Iranian backed fighters.
    Maybe this is a good time to team up with Russia to take down Iran and its Islamist Fanactic Regime. I am sure Russia would love to stop the suicide bombers and terror that continues to ravish their country.

  • KnightHawk says:

    madashell cause that would be too close to telling the truth.

  • blert says:

    IF America names an enemy she is compelled to attack.
    The reason is that she’s the Super Power. To nominate Iran as an active enemy we must either press ahead or loose clout.
    This is very much in the style of the Romans. They were very cautious about declaring war. They wanted to pick their fights very carefully.
    In as much as Obama is determined to never strike a muslim state first, the last thing he wants is for the Iranian connection to go public.
    In this, his logic is scarcely different than Bush.
    In the grand scheme of things, America does not want to mobilize for war and find itself stuck in an Asian Land War of vast scope.
    Instead, we’re using slow boil strategies. That is most wise. Only a trivial number of combatants are in the field against us. I have argued that we are already over-committing to AfPak.
    Yemen needs more attention. It’s the true home of AQ — not AfPak. BTW, the Pashtos aren’t exactly crazy about the Arabs. ( AQ ) Afghani islamic customs are significantly different. By Wahhabi standards, most Afghanis are murtad.
    The American-Yemeni is a REAL threat. Obviously a traitor — and proud of it. ANY American convert to AQ must get the full traitor treatment.
    Now, it must be plain that all of the islamic governments over there play double games.
    Pakistan has got their finger in a lot of pies and is hustling America with the big long con.
    KSA is fulsomely corrupting our politics with Royal patronage using various cut-outs. The King has invested in Citicorp, NewsCorp (Fox) and a slew of academics. Each time a cut-out is used as a front investor/patron.
    Yemen is Pakistan on steroids. She’s massively complicit in Somali affairs. So now we have Somali-Americans heading home for further jihad. AQ intends to re-vector them right back to America.
    Iraq is a paralyzed stew. Iran and Syria are able to put their thumbs down on the voting scales of Iraq.
    Even Turkey has decided to jump into bed with Iran. Sweet natural gas deals go a long ways.
    The one thing breaking our way is the disengagement from Iraq. We over invested in Iraq.
    The reality is that muslim hearts and minds are with allah, always. No kafir is ever going to change that. So stop trying to be their buddy. Limit your objectives to blocking the fanatics. Let everything else go.
    Every material advance they receive is always ascribed as being allah’s will — not our volition. This is especially true when there is no quid pro quo — which is typical right now.
    Changing their culture is a terrible idea. First you can’t do it. Further, you infuriate them. You’re insulting their forefathers. As far as they are concerned, they figure that they are on the right track — it’s just that the tricky kafirs have made life difficult.
    This type of thinking goes all the way up the scale to players like the late Dr. Said. It is simply impossible for a muslim to admit that something’s amiss with islam. To do so is to cross the line towards murtad. Truly unthinkable.
    Once the oil runs out peak islam will be reached. It’s no co-incidence that all of our muslim troubles started in the mid-seventies. As a muslim moves up Maslow’s scale his mind turns to bloody jihad. That’s what the Koran demands. That’s what self-actualization means to the faithful.
    Not surprisingly, ALL of our worst threats have received advanced educations in the West. If we were to wisely eject the muslim college crowd to their homelands, our jihad problem would fade and fade and then collapse.
    And you wouldn’t even have to send in the US Army!


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