Monday, September 28, 2020

Pro-Iran Factions Warned If Keep Up Attacks On Western Targets In Iraq Will Face US Retaliation

US Sec of State Pompeo with Iraq President Salah (AFP)
Pro-Iran groups launched their latest and largest wave of attacks upon western targets in Iraq in June. This was prompted by Washington and Baghdad entering into talks over a new security agreement, and then hit a new level when Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazemi visited President Trump. By September there was an attack nearly every day. That led the U.S. to issue a warning that it would retaliate if these incidents continued.

 

In September PM Kazemi and President Barham Salah delivered a message to Shiite parties and Hashd factions that if attacks continued on American targets the U.S. would close its embassy and militarily and economically retaliate. That included sanctions on Iraqi officials, cutting off dollars to Iraq’s Central Bank, and blocking aid from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. This came from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Iraq’s leadership who then passed it on. In January the United States killed Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force commander General Qasim Suleimani and deputy head of the Hashd Commission and Kataib Hezbollah leader Abu Muhandis in Baghdad. The month before the U.S. hit three Kataib Hezbollah bases in Iraq as well. The threat therefore was taken seriously as these parties are aware of America’s capabilities.

 

According to Al Monitor this set off a debate between the parties. Hashd Commission head Falah al-Fayad and Fatah List/Badr leader Hadi Amiri argued for an end to attacks because the U.S. was already withdrawing its troops and didn’t want a U.S. strike upon Hashd bases. Moqtada al-Sadr Tweeted that elements of the Hashd should stop their attacks. The Fatah List condemned the hits on foreign delegations, while the Hashd Commission issued a statement that it did not stand for illegal military actions against foreign interests. Kataib Hezbollah and Harakat Al-Nujaba on the other hand issued more threats against U.S. forces in Iraq, while Asaib Ahl Al-Haq said that the American embassy was a symbol of the occupation of the country. Iran however said it was against the targeting of embassies. Just as important there were two more attacks upon a convoy carrying supplies to the U.S. in southern Iraq after Pompeo’s warning.

 

The real question is whether Pompeo’s message will be enough of a deterrent in the long run? It seems unlikely. If the U.S. were to retaliate it could set off a new wave of operations by pro-Iran group as happened after Suleimani and Muhandis were killed. Those assassinations also showed that American military strikes have unintended consequences as the latest round of attacks have all occurred afterward. The perpetrators are also opposed to PM Kazemi and want to embarrass him by hitting the U.S. so there is that added motivation for them to continue. Finally, President Trump wants to draw down troops but to retain some to keep an eye on Iran which will always draw the opposition of Tehran and some of the Shiite parties. All together that means there might be a dip in incidents but they will probably not end.

 

Attacks by Pro-Iran Groups 2020

Date

Incident - Location

1/4/20

Mortar – Baghdad’s Jadriya – 5 wounded

 

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

 

Mortar – Salahaddin’s Balad Air Base – 3 wounded

1/5/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

1/8/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

1/12/20

Rockets – Salahaddin’s Balad Air Base – 6 wounded

1/14/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Camp Taji

1/20/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

1/21/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

1/26/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone – 3 wounded

1/31/20

Rockets – Kirkuk’s Qayara Base

 

January Totals - 11

2/15/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

2/21/20

Rockets – Irbil’s Makhmour Base

 

February Totals - 2

3/1/20

Rockets – Salahaddin’s Sadiq Base

3/2/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

3/5/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

3/11/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Camp Taji – 3 killed (2 US, 1 UK), 12 wounded

3/14/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Camp Taji – 7 wounded (3 US)

3/16/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Besmaya Base

3/17/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

3/26/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

 

March Totals - 8

4/18/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Nahrawan Chinese company

4/6/20

Rockets – Basra’s Burjisiya US company

 

April Totals – 2

5/6/20

Rockets – Baghdad International Airport

5/19/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

 

May Total - 2

6/8/20

Rockets – Baghdad International Airport

6/10/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

6/13/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Camp Taji

6/14/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Camp Taji

6/15/20

Rockets – Baghdad International Airport

 

Rockets found - Rashidiya, Baghdad

6/18/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

6/22/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s International Airport

 

June Total - 8

7/5/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone – 1 wounded

 

Rockets found – Baghdad’s Camp Taji

7/10/20

Rockets found – Aimed at Baghdad’s Green Zone

7/11/20

Burned trucks carrying supplies to US - Muthanna

7/19/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

7/22/20

IEDs trucks carrying supplies to US – Dhi Qar

7/23/10

Drone and bomb found – Jadriya, Baghdad

7/24/10

Rockets – Baghdad’s Besmaya Base

7/27/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Camp Taji

 

Rockets – Salahaddin’s Camp Speicher

7/30/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s International Airport

7/31/20

Rockets found – Jabour al-Shaarah, Baghdad

 

July Totals – 12

8/3/20

Rockets – 2 areas of Meshada Dist, Baghdad

 

Rockets – Baghdad’s Camp Taji

8/4/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Dhi Qar

8/5/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

8/9/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Dhi Qar

8/10/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US - Basra

8/11/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Baghdad’s Camp Taji

 

Rockets – Baghdad’s Camp Taji

 

Rockets – Landed in Tigris River, Baghdad

8/14/20

Rockets – Baghdad International Airport

 

Rockets – Salahaddin’s Balad Air Base

 

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Diwaniya

8/15/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Camp Taji

 

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Dhi Qar

8/16/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

8/18/20

Rockets – Baghdad International Airport

8/21/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Baghdad – 1 killed

8/22/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Baghdad

8/23/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Baghdad

8/28/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

8/29/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

 

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil

8/30/20

Rockets – Baghdad International Airport

 

August Totals – 24

9/2/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil – 1 wounded

9/3/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Dhi Qar

 

Rockets UK security company – Baghdad

9/6/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Baghdad – 2 wounded

 

Rockets – Baghdad International Airport

9/8/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil – 1 killed, 2 wounded

 

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Baghdad – 2 wounded

9/10/20

Rockets – Baghdad International Airport

9/12/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Salahaddin

9/14/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil

 

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Diwaniya

9/15/20

IED on UK diplomatic convoy – Baghdad

 

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil

 

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

9/16/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone

9/17/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Baghdad

 

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Baghdad also reported as Babil

9/18/20

IED American Inst for English Learning – Najaf

 

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Salahaddin – 1 wounded

9/20/20

Rockets – Baghdad International Airport

9/21/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Salahaddin

9/22/20

Mortars – Baghdad’s Green Zone

9/23/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Baghdad

 

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Salahaddin

 

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil

9/27/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Dhi Qar

 

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil

 

September Totals - 27

 

SOURCES

 

Bas News, “Iraqi Hezbollah Makes New Threats after US Warned of Baghdad Embassy Closure,” 9/26/20

 

Haboush, Joseph, “US threatens Baghdad with sanctions over Iran-backed militia attacks in Iraq: Sources,” Al Arabiya, 9/26/20

 

Al Hurra, “Statements and dismissal in the pro-Iran camp in Iraq … The secret of the Al-Kazemi meeting,” 9/24/20

 

Iraq Newspaper, “Akram Al-Kaabi from Iran is threatening America with accurate weapons soon,” 9/27/20

 

Mamouri, Ali, “US shakes up Iraqi factions with reported warning on militias,” Al Monitor, 9/25/20

 

Al Masalah, “Iran: We reject any aggression against diplomatic places in Iraq,” 9/26/20

 

NINA, “A Convoy Of Logistical Support For The Int’l Coalition Targeted By An IED, Near Babylon,” 9/27/20

- “Khazali: There Is No Targeting Of Diplomatic Missions In Iraq. Rather, There Is Targeting The US Embassy,” 9/27/20

 

NRT, “IED Targets Contractor Convoy In Dhi Qar’s Batha District,” 9/27/20

 

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