Iran proxy militia vows to fight against US forces in Iraq

Mar 22nd, 2016

Iranian American Forum, March 22, 2016

خزعلی

 

 

On March 21, one of Iran’s main proxy militias in Iraq called “Asaib Ahl al-Haq” has warned that it would treat U.S. Marines deployed in Iraq to fight Islamic State as forces of occupation. According to Fars news agency, affiliated with Iranian revolutionary guards, Asaib and another militia have vowed to fight against US troops.

Asaib Ahl al-Haq is one of the main Shiite militias formed by Iran Quds force in Iraq. In 2006, Iran realized that the Mahdi Army, led by Muqtada al-Sadr, had become hard to control, therefore, the Quds Force organized a number of Mahdi Army officers and followers into a new organization called Asaib Ahl al-Haq. Its leader is Qeys Khazali, a former Sadr associate.

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Asaib leader Qeys Khazalion (left) with Ghassem Soleimani commander of Iran Quds Force. On the right is Reza Naghdi, commander of Iran para military Bassij force

Asaib Ahl al-Haq was created to conduct military operations against U.S. and British forces and participate in the suppression of Sunnis. Between 2006 and 2011, the group claimed responsibility for hundreds of attacks on U.S. forces.  In 2007, Asaib murdered five U.S. servicemen in the city of Karbala. Khazali was subsequently arrested and imprisoned by Coalition Forces. In 2010, Asaib took a British officer hostage and ultimately traded him for Khazali.

Since 2012, some of Asaib forces have been dispatched to Syria to support Bashar Assad’s regime.

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Khazali’s deputy is a mullah named Mohammad Tabatabai, who is seen in the picture wearing a military uniform, next to Quds commander Soleimani September 2014

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In the first week of November 2014, Khazali and Tabatabai went to Iran to express public allegiance to Iranian regime. This picture shows Asaib leaders in Qom during a meeting with the Iranian top clerics in Qom

ولایت فقیه

In an interview with state-run media outlet in Iran, Assaib leaderKhazali openly expressed allegiance to the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader

Assaib is notorious for its brutality. In recent months and during conflicts with Sunni groups and ISIS, they have killed and beheaded their victims in front of journalists. In August 2014, Asaib was accused by Sunni leaders for the bomb attack against a Sunni mosque, killing dozens of people praying inside.

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Asaib fighters take photo with burned bodies of their victims, Amerli, Iraq, 2014

International human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have accused Asaib of committing crimes against humanity.

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