During yesterday’s meeting in Tehran between Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al Abadi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the former introduced the latter to Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, the operations chief for the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Committee and a US-listed Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
Leading Iraqi political and religious leaders such as Prime Minister Haidar al Abadi and Grand Ayatollah Sistani have been reduced to cozying up to what John Allen, the US Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition To Counter ISIL, or the Islamic State, described as the “extremist elements” of the Popular Mobilization Committee.
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.
Qods Force commander Major General Qassem Soleimani was also photographed in Baghdad with Popular Mobilization Committee chief Abu Mahdi al Muhandis and Imam Ali Brigade leader Shebl al Zaydi. The images contradict US official’s claims that Iran and its Shiite militia proxies are not involved in the Anbar counteroffensive.
Commander Jassem Nouri is likely a member of Qods Force, the external operations branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Qods Force. He was advising Shiite militias, such as Hezbollah Brigades, who are engaged in fighting in Iraq’s Anbar province.
US officials and generals continue to downplay the involvement of Iranian-backed Shiite militias in offensives in Iraq, and their dominance of the Popular Mobilization Committee.
Iranian-supported militias, including Hezbollah Brigades, a US-listed Foreign Terrorist Organization, are advancing against the Islamic State east of Ramadi. The US is providing air support.
The Islamic State is attacking Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed Shiite militias that have regrouped at Habbaniyah, the last major city between Ramadi and Fallujah.