Saturday, December 26, 2020

Iran Warns Its Allies About Attacking US Targets In Iraq

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force Cmdr Qaani has been in Baghdad twice recently to try to talk pro-Tehran groups out of targeting Americans fearing Trump admin retaliation (Al Aalem)


Iran appears to be afraid that if its allies continue to attack U.S. targets in Iraq that the Trump administration will retaliate against it. The head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force General Ismail Qaani
was recently in Baghdad where he met with Hashd al-Shaabi factions and Shiite political leaders and told them to stop targeting American interests. This came as President Trump tweeted that the recent attack upon the Green Zone in the Iraqi capital used rockets supplied by Iran. The president warned that if any American was killed the U.S. would strike back.

 

In October pro-Iran factions announced a ceasefire that was allegedly ordered by Tehran. The next month Qaani was again in Baghdad meeting with friends such as Badr head Hadi Amiri, Asaib Ahl Al-Haq, Kataib Hezbollah, Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba and members of State of Law and then the prime minister. It was reported the talks were about Iran’s fear that Trump would launch strikes upon Iran before he left office.

 

Despite all that pro-Iran groups have ended their ceasefire and picked up their operations in December as the anniversary of the deaths of Quds Force head General Qasim Soleimani and leader of the Hashd Abu Muhandis nears on January 3. There have already been eight attacks in Iraq in December versus just one in November and seven in October.

 

This brings up an interesting point about the relationship between these armed groups and Iran. Many of the main ones like Kataib Hezbollah and Asaib Ahl Al-Haq were created by or with aid from Tehran. They went to Syria on orders of Iran and followed its leadership during the war versus the Islamic State. Now there are all kinds of small off shoot groups that take responsibility for the IEDs and rockets so that the larger organizations can deny responsibility. Is this proliferation making them less responsive to Iran’s demands? There has also been articles and analysis noting that without Abu Muhandis the different factions are not as united as they once were and are more fractious. All together that could explain why these warnings by Qaani have not been headed and attacks are going up against Tehran’s wishes.

 

10/1/20

Rocket at convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil

 

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Dhi Qar

 

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Diwaniya

10/5/20

Rockets – Baghdad International Airport

 

Rockets – Baghdad’s Jadriya neighborhood

10/11/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Muthanna

10/24/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Basra

 

October Totals – 7

11/17/20

Rockets – Bagdhad’s Green Zone 1 killed, 5 wounded

 

November Totals – 1

12/10/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Muthanna

12/12/20

Mortar – Baghdad International Airport

12/20/20

Rockets – Baghdad’s Green Zone – 1 wounded

 

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Dhi Qar – 1 wounded

12/21/20

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Babil

12/25/20

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

 

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Dhi Qar

 

IED on convoy carrying supplies to US – Muthanna

 

December Totals - 8

 

SOURCES

 

Al Aalem, “A source reveals the goals of Qaani’s visit to Baghdad … Supporting Al-Kazemi and stopping the attacks on the American embassy,” 12/24/20

- “They had breakfast together .. What did Al-Kazemi ask Qaani?” 11/22/20

 

Al Arabiya, “Trump threatens Iran after attacks on US embassy in Iraq,” 12/23/20

 

Al-Salhy, Suadad, “EXCLUSIVE: Iran tells Iraq factions ‘no attacks on US targets until Trump is gone,’” Middle East Eye, 11/24/20

 

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