03 June 2020
English Arabic
Several pro-Iran militias have lately claimed responsibility for attacking US forces in Iraq, but examining their media activities indicates they are probably fake groups created by existing militias to show strength without taking the risk of ramifications. In a span of less than three months, five “new pro-Iran militias” have announced their plans to escalate attacks on US forces in Iraq. Some of them have claimed responsibility for major anti-American attacks. But evidence indicates this is a propaganda campaign conducted…
For Mustafa al-Kadhimi, it was third time lucky. Iraq’s new prime minister was the third candidate to be put forward in as many months. Neither of the others managed to form a government. Kadhimi’s appointment is crucial to stabilizing a country rocked by mass protests and a pandemic. Yet as consequential as his appointment is – Iraq has had a caretaker prime minister for nearly six months – it comes in a month when two other consequential developments took place.…
BAGHDAD — Two diplomats are quietly leading Iran's push to influence politics in Iraq, in a departure from the more blunt enforcement employed by Qassem Soleimani, a top commander slain in a U.S. air strike. The consensual tactics in a country where Iran has wrestled with Washington for influence for nearly two decades was designed to break a political deadlock in Baghdad and hasten the departure of nearly 5,000 U.S. troops from Iraq, according to three senior Iranian officials involved…
ustafa al-Kadhimi, Iraq’s new prime minister as of May 12, has already announced a bold intention. In a short government manifesto he submitted to the Iraqi Parliament, Kadhimi emphasized his plans to “impose the state’s prestige” by bringing armed groups under government control. To observers of post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, the manifesto’s meaning is clear: the damage to the state’s “prestige” has, after all, come mainly from pro-Iranian militant groups who answer to the commanders of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC),…
The name “Hezbollah” has been associated with two groups: The yellow flags of the Lebanese party and its secretary general Hassan Nasrallah and the more ideological and dangerous militia operating in Iraq. The Kataib Hezbollah militia has been operating in Iraq for over 13 years. Just months ago, it was dealt one of the strongest strikes in wake of a rocket attack that targeted Iraq’s Taji base that claimed the lives of one British and two American soldiers. The response…

Revolution is in the air in Iran and Iraq Wednesday, 20 May 2020 22:15

The coronavirus is not the only airborne problem troubling governments in the Middle East. For the rulers of Iran and Iraq, revolution is in the air. In Iran, the theocratic regime continues to lie about the extent of the contagion, claiming, absurdly, that the death toll is around 6,000, while in fact over 42,000 have died of COVID-19. Such is the appalling situation in Iran, with the collapsing economy and the mullahs' bungled attempts to manage the virus, that 270,000 Afghan…
Tharallah (God’s Revenge) emerged in 2003 as a notorious Basra-based, Tehran-funded death squad, hunting down and gruesomely murdering Sunnis, Baathists, and anyone Iranian agents paid them to kill. British soldiers in December 2003 raided a Tharallah torture chamber. It has regained nationwide notoriety in recent days after opening fire on protesters outside its headquarters. Several hundred demonstrators have been gunned down by paramilitary elements since mass protests erupted in the fall of 2019. Militias are accustomed to routinely getting away…
It was a bold opening gambit from new Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi. On the night of May 10, protesters gathered outside the offices of a little known militia organisation in Basra, Thar Allah. When they were met with live fire, it seemed a typically brutal response from Iraq’s numerous Iran-backed militias, whom many hold responsible for killing hundreds of protesters. What happened next surprised observers: Thar Allah’s offices were raided by security forces and their leader, Youssef Al…
Anti-government protests started again in Iraq as hundreds of demonstrators clashed with security forces in Baghdad on Sunday. The protests follow the appointment of Mustafa al-Kadhimi as Prime Minister, bringing an end to months of relative calm. Iraqi protesters continued their nightly demonstrations against the corrupt rulers and puppets of Velayat-e-Faqih (Iran’s clerical regime) in Baghdad's Tahrir Square and in the provinces of Dhi Qar, Diwaniyah, Basra, Babil, Karbala, Wasit, Maysan and other cities. They called for the overthrow of the government.…
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has only been in office five days, but already a chief challenge and goal for his fledgling government has become clear: placating Iraq's protest movement. The six-month-old movement is one of a litany of challenges Iraq's new premier faces. The country is being buffetted by an oil price crash, coronavirus and an Islamic State group resurgence, not to mention tensions between the US and Iran. But, now overseeing the closest thing to a stable government the country…
AGHDAD—Five months after its charismatic leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was killed by a U.S. drone strike at the Baghdad airport, the Iran-backed group Kataib Hezbollah’s influence on Iraq may be quietly eroding. Despite an institutional void since widespread protests across Shiite-majority central and southern Iraq forced the previous government to resign late in 2019 and the international coalition’s recent withdrawal from several Iraqi bases, moves are afoot to more fully integrate some Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) factions into government chains…
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