Another Iraqi Shia militia threatens the United States over involvement in Israel

Hezbollah Brigades, an Iranian proxy that operates primarily in Iraq but also in Syria, has joined the chorus of so-called ‘Islamic Resistance’ groups in issuing threats against the United States as it supports Israel against the Hamas-led assault against it. 

In a short statement released on its website, the Hezbollah Brigades first congratulates the Palestinian people “for their great victories despite the criminality from the Zionist entity.” The Iranian-backed militia goes on to say that “they [the Palestinians] have broken the power of the criminal Zionists, and increased the conflict to a level that terrified the entity [Israel].”

According to the militia, “this brave group [referring to Palestinian militants] has proven the superiority of the will of the mujahideen over the enemy’s technology.” 

After heavily praising the continued Hamas-led fighting against the Jewish state, it turned its attention to the United States. “Our missiles, drones, and special forces stand ready to direct qualitative strikes against the Americans in their bases and against their interests if it intervenes in this battle.” 

The Hezbollah Brigades also seemingly directly threatens Israel itself by saying that “known positions of the Zionist entity and its allies will also be hit by our missiles, if necessary.”

At the end of its statement, it also calls on its supporters to help raise and donate funds to send to the so-called ‘Islamic Resistance’ in Gaza. The ‘Islamic Resistance’ is a euphemism used by Iranian-backed groups to refer to each other. 

Hezbollah Brigades is now the second Iranian-backed Shia militia in Iraq to directly threaten the United States over involvement against the Hamas-led militant offensive. Another Iranian-backed militia, Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, has also issued a similar warning

Elsewhere, an Iranian-backed militia has threatened violence in Bahrain, while Yemen’s Houthi’s movement has also implied its willingness to support Hamas and its allies in Gaza against Israel. 

The Hezbollah Brigades is one of Iran’s predominant proxies inside both Iraq and Syria and a U.S. designated terrorist organization. It has attacked, or attempted to attack, U.S. personnel in both Iraq and Syria in the past. The group was also responsible for many U.S. deaths during the Iraq War. 

As such, threats issued by the Iranian proxy must not be entirely dismissed by U.S. officials.

Its former leader, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, was a longtime Iraqi operative for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and was killed alongside the IRGC’s Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani in Jan. 2020. Its current leader, Ahmed al-Hamidawi, is also a U.S. designated terrorist.

In addition to strong ties to the IRGC, the Hezbollah Brigades is also closely linked to other groups in the so-called ‘Islamic Resistance,’ particularly Lebanese Hezbollah.

Joe Truzman is an editor and senior research analyst at FDD's Long War Journal focused primarily on Palestinian armed groups and non-state actors in the Middle East.

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