— د.ماجد محمد (@Dr_Magid1987) June 6, 2016
A video of an Iranian fighter from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps embedded among Iraqi forces near Fallujah has emerged on social media websites.
In the video, which was published on Twitter, the Iranian fighter says in Farsi: “In the name of God, the compassionate the merciful. Friday afternoon, the operation to liberate Fallujah. I am Iranian. [Crowd in Arabic] We are Iraqis. We are at your service, O Hussain!”
The Iranian’s bandana bears the inscription, “313 Ansar al Hojja.” Ansar al Hojja is a group formed by Iraqi Shiites in June 2014 following the Islamic State’s takeover of nearly one third of Iraq. The number 313 alludes to scripture: when the Mahdi first arrives, he will only have 313 supporters.
According to the Saudi newspaper Asharq al Awsat, 80 Iranian military advisors have joined the operation in Fallujah to support the militias in the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces. At least two members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Basij paramilitary have been killed as a result of injuries sustained near Fallujah in the past two months. But there have been no announced casualties of Iranians since the operation to retake Fallujah commenced two weeks ago.