Iranian-backed Iraqi militia launched rockets at Khan Touman in advance of ground assault

Iranian media outlets affiliated with the state reported yesterday that Iraqi militia Harakat al Nujaba, or Movement of the Noble, bombarded opposition positions in Khan Touman, southwest of Aleppo, on May 25.  This occurred in advance of a ground assault by “the Syrian army and resistance groups” to retake the city.

Earlier this month, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its allies lost the town to Jaysh al Fath, a jihadist-led alliance of rebel groups that includes Jabhat al Nusrah, al Qaeda’s branch in Syria. The pro-Assad coalition sustained heavy casualties in the ambush, with at least 17 “military advisors” dead and 21 wounded. Nujaba acknowledged the loss of 11 combatants. The battle garnered significant public attention both in the Middle East and on social media. Suffering the most stinging defeat in Syria yet, the Guard has vowed revenge.

Seeking to downplay the loss, Iranian media outlets linked to the IRGC and the state claimed shortly after the ambush that Nujaba on May 9 launched IRAMs at Khan Touman.  Purportedly destroying two BMB armored vehicles and a 23-millimeter cannon mounted on a technical truck, and killing dozens Nusrah fighters during the attack.

Iranian media again claimed yesterday that Nujaba missile units bombarded the town and sporadically undertook ground operations. The media, however, denied reports that the full operation to retake the town has begun. They claim that Nujaba is launching skirmishes and artillery fire to soften defenses and clear the surrounding areas of Khan Touman in advance of an offensive.

According to Iranian media, Nujaba missiles on May 25 destroyed two tanks, an armored personnel carrier, and a 23-millimeter cannon mounted on a technical truck belonging to Nusrah. Nujaba also reportedly destroyed a Fath BMB armored vehicle with a Kornet anti-tank guided missile. Iranian media claim that Nujaba fighters have killed 23 and wounded 18 Nusrah combatants. 

Nujaba is also involved in the ongoing operation to retake Fallujah in Iraq,  This is where Qassem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC Qods Force, and Akram Abbas al Kaabi, the leader of Nujaba, have both been spotted.

Amir Toumaj is a independent analyst and contributor to FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • ULISES says:


  • Evan says:

    So what’s the goal here?
    Is the US simply to watch these things take place, and in fact aid the Iranians in their endeavors?

    If it were up to Iran, all of the Middle East would be just like Lebanon, they are using the same template in Iraq and Syria, although the long term goals in Iraq may be different.

    The PMC in Iraq is entirely an organ of the IRGC. We should be bombing them, at the same time we bomb the so called caliphate.

    The only option I see is to completely remove any presence of the U.S. military from the region. Terrorists killing terrorists is a win win situation for us, wether they be Shia terrorists or Sunni terrorists.

  • feldman says:

    Iran’s been the only effective force against Sunni terror since Bill Clinton’s and HW Bush’s foolish subversion of the Sadaam regime. It’d be cheaper to simply fund the Iranian miltiary than to waste billions of incompetent advisors and tech assistant to the nonexistent “moderates” in Syria and the defective Iraqi regime. Congress and the American people are utterly ignorant of the historic role Persia/Iran has played in limiting the surges of Arabian Islam over 15 centuries.


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