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.
The US Department of State added Harakat al Nujaba, an Iranian-supported Shiite militia which operates in both Iraq and Syria, and its leader, Akram ‘Abbas al Kaabi to the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists. Kaabi has pledged loyalty to Iran’s Supreme Leader and has said he would overthrow the Iraqi government if ordered to do so.
The US government has designated the Afghan Fatemiyoun Division and the Pakistani Zaynabiyoun Brigade for their ties to Iran’s Qods Force.
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.