As tensions mount between the Iraqi federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government, several Iranian-backed group have deployed more troops to contested areas near Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu. As both sides remain steadfast in their claims to the oil rich province, tensions continue to mount and the risk of military escalation rises.
The Iranian-backed Iraqi militia Harakat al Nujaba this week announced the formation of its “Golan Liberation Brigade.” This announcement reflects Tehran’s post-Aleppo priorities in southern Syria: sustain ideological commitment to fighting Israel while planning to pose militarythreat to the the Jewish state from the Golan Heights. The Islamic Republic is also sending signal to Arab states that are in talks with Israel over a military coalition against Tehran’s influence.
Akram Abbas al Kabi, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist and the leader of the Harakat Nujaba, said his group and others “will seek revenge” for what he claimed was a US airstrike that killed 10 members of the League of the Righteous.
Several Iranian-backed Shiite militia groups continue to operate in Tikrit, despite claims by US government officials that most of these militias had left the battle. The US continues to launch airstrikes to support Iraqi forces and these militias, many leaders of which are responsible for killing US and Coalition servicemen during the Iraq War.