AL Qaeda’s operatives are fighting in more countries around the world today than was the case on 9/11. And its leaders still want to target the United States and its interest and allies. The war they started is far from over.
Iran has its tentacles all over Iraq, and the United States has no one to blame but itself. It is a bipartisan failure dating back to the March 2003 invasion. The seeds of this failure can be seen in the interrogation transcripts of Qayis Khazali, the leader of the Mahdi Army’s Special Groups and Asaib Ahl al Haq.
Iranian and Syrian officials on 27 August signed a military agreement that highlights their symbiotic relationship.
A newly released interrogation report shows that Qayis al-Khazali identified Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani as the two individuals Iran trusted “the most with attempting to implement the Iranian agenda in Iraq.” The pair went from being marginal players shortly after the US-led invasion in 2003 to leading the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces, one of most powerful and influential military organizations in Iraq.
This now makes two Iranian-based leaders of Bahraini militant group Saraya al Ashtar, or the Al Ashtar Brigades, to be designated as global terrorists by the US State Department.
Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) has cut a deal with Bashar al-Assad’s regime to exchange thousands of residents in Kefraya and al-Fouah, two predominately Shiite towns in the northern province of Idlib, for 1,500 prisoners held in Assad’s prisons.
The US Department of State added Saraya al Ashtar, an Iranian-supported group that openly flaunts its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps affiliation, to its list of global terrorists.
The Secretary-General of Kata’ib Sayyid al Shuhada, an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia, said he is a “soldier” of Abdel Malek al Houthi, the leader of Yemen’s Houthi movement.