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.
Mullah Mustafa, a Taliban commander who was targeted by the US military in an airstrike nearly a decade ago and who has links to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp – Qods Force, remains a key player in the insurgency in central Afghanistan. He was involved in the Taliban takeover of a district in Ghor.
An Iranian general from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) this week began his new position as Tehran’s ambassador to Iraq. The selection of Brigadier General Iraj Masjedi, the senior adviser to the commander of the IRGC extraterritorial branch the Qods Force, highlights Tehran’s strategy to assert itself as the dominant foreign power in its western neighbor following the Mosul campaign. Since 2003 all Iranian ambassadors to Iraq have been Qods Force officers.
The establishment of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) is an extension of Iran’s plan to export the revolution, which keeps war against Sunni extremists from reaching the country’s borders, a senior adviser to the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force argues.
Akram al Kabi, a senior Iraqi militia leader, says IRGC Qods Force chief Qassem Soleimani is in Iraq. Soleimani’s last confirmed sighting was on Oct. 28 in Tehran, Iran.
Two top officials from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force (IRGC-QF) delivered remarks commemorating the most senior IRGC commander killed in Syria last year. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the IRGC-QF, spoke about the strategic importance of Syria, and claimed that the Islamic State was established with the goal of threatening Iran.
A senior commander in the Iraqi Asa’ib Ahl al Haq militia who was close to IRGC-QF commander Qassem Soleimani has been killed in Aleppo, Syria.
The IRGC’s construction arm is helping to develop a massive complex in a Shiite shrine in Najaf Iraq. Its partner, the Headquarters for the Restoration of Holy Shrines, is a front organization for the Qods Force.