Author Archives: Amir Toumaj & Caleb Weiss

Amir Toumaj is a Research Analyst at Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Caleb Weiss is a contributor to FDD's Long War Journal.

Iranian killed at PMF base in Iraq

Both Iranian media and media linked to Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces have reported different narratives surrounding the events of a purported explosion at an Iraqi base last week. However, Iranian media has confirmed at least one Iranian was killed at the base.

IRGC-controlled militia accuses US of strike to hide Islamic State raid near Syrian border

An Iraqi-Shiite militia controlled by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) claimed yesterday that its forces came under fire from American artillery shells in the vicinity of Jamouna, Syria. A US Defense spokesman rejected the allegation. The Islamic State posted footage of a raid in that area on the same day that shows the Shiite militia’s flag, strongly suggesting an attempt by the Shiite-jihadist militia to cover up an attack by the Sunni-jihadist group, muddy the waters and shift the blame to the United States.

Iran tests the US in southeastern Syria

Major powers involved in the Syrian war are racing to maximize gains from the crumbling Islamic State in southern and eastern Syria. The continued advancement of pro-Syrian regime forces and Iranian-backed militias toward the US-held Tanf base – as well as the potential advance of both sides toward the Iraqi border area – raise the risk of further clashes that may draw in the US and Russia, though the latter has been unwilling to challenge US strikes against a pro-regime convoy and Syrian warplanes this year.

US designates Iran-backed Bahrainis as terrorists

The U.S. State Department on Friday announced the designation of two Bahraini nationals affiliated with Iran-backed militant group the Ashtar Brigades. The designation of the two individuals comes amidst repeated attempts by Tehran and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to foment an insurgency against the rulers of the tiny island, who have launched a widespread crackdown on all Shiite opposition. Friday’s announcement signals a new tone in US policy towards Iran’s malign activities in the region.